November 20, 2018

Warren Applauds Toys "R" Us Workers for Successfully Organizing to Recoup Severance Pay

Calls, once again, for Toys "R" Us investors to compensate laid-off workers

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today released the following statement, applauding successful organizing efforts by American workers to recoup some of the severance pay they were owed after Toys "R" Us closed its doors.  The senator also, once again, calls on investors to contribute to the hardship fund for the more than 30,000 American workers laid off without severance pay.

"I am glad to hear that many of the workers laid off by Toys "R" Us were able to come together to successfully advocate for some of the pay they are owed," said Senator Warren. "It is still inexcusable that many of Toys "R" Us's investors have been unable or unwilling to help the more than 30,000 American workers who lost their jobs after investors reportedly pushed to liquidate the company."

The statement follows Senator Warren's October 16, 2018, letters to the six firms in which she requested information regarding the companies' roles in Toys "R" Us's leveraged buyout or debt purchases, and eventual liquidation. In these letters, she acknowledged that Bain Capital and KKR, two companies that played a role in Toys "R" Us's liquidation, agreed to contribute a combined $20 million to the hardship fund organized by workers who lost their jobs. 

She also urged the remaining six investors - Solus, Highland Capital, Franklin Mutual Advisers, Angelo, Gordon & Co., Oaktree Capital, and Vornado Realty Trust - to finally step up and do their part for workers who lost their jobs. These six firms reportedly pushed the company to liquidate even as other experts sought to reorganize and keep the company alive. All six firms have responded that they have no plans to contribute to the hardship fund for impacted workers.

Based on the severance policy Toys "R" Us has historically following when it shut down stores, laid-off workers are still owed an estimated $55 million in severance pay.