Former Toys R Us workers given $20m hardship fund for lost pensions and earnings

Former Toys R Us workers given $20m hardship fund for lost pensions and earnings

Former Toys R Us employees will receive a mis-sold pension compensation of approximately $20 million as hardship funds. The toy-store chain co-owned by two private-equity owners, Bain Capital, and KKR has set aside $20 million to fund their former employees. A worker-backed group pressured the firm to reach the decision. Former workers at Toys R Us are also campaigning for an extra $55 million. The giant Toys R Us plans to use the finances to pay thousands of employees who lost working opportunities after the liquidation of the iconic toy chain in June.

Bain Capital and KKR pointed out that the creation of the fund will assist over 30,000 former employees affected by the untimely closure of the toy chain. The worker-backed campaign groups are credited for a new move. The workers consider the move unprecedented because it has no legal backing but it is a great relief to many families affected by bankruptcies and store closures that affected the retail industry.

Workers are also pressuring the toy chain to pay an extra of $55 million formerly owed and they are pressuring other firms that contributed to the untimely closure of the toys chain to support their current moves.

Ann Reinhart, 59, who worked for the toy chain for nearly three decades, hailed the first step but affirmed that the ultimate goal is keeping the pressure. Since losing her job at Toys R Us last summer, Ann has not managed to find a job that pays medical insurance. Employees were told that they would not get any severance when the toy chain liquidated hundreds of its retail outlets in June.

The workers have held several protests outside the offices of former owners Vornado Realty Trust, Bain, and KKR in New York. The former employees of the toy retailer accused the three firms of having played a central role in pushing the toy chain to its bankruptcy in 2017.

The mis-sold pension compensation unrest has also seen the agitated workers take part in a couple of pension meetings in different parts of the country. The employees have continued to pressure the three firms implicated in the saga to act responsibly and compensate the workers facing immense living hardship. Former workers of the toy retail chain have continued to pressure the equity owners to release the pension funds along with the remaining funds owed.

Bain and KKR continue to affirm that the fund was created in response to the inevitable operational circumstances that shuttered the toy chain. The equity owners also pointed out that they were more than committed to ensuring that all their former employees get befitting financial relief. The mis-sold pension compensation protest is expected to take several turns and twists in the coming days.