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Bob Layton Editorial: Support for the front line

The liquidation of Sears Canada's remaining stores would affect 12,000 jobs, more than the entire economy added in the month of September.
The liquidation of Sears Canada's remaining stores would affect 12,000 jobs, more than the entire economy added in the month of September. The Canadian Press/Bayne Stanley

Since June, we’ve been watching Sears Canada go down the Canadian corporate drain.

As the marketing experts talk about what the company should have been doing to compete in today’s economic climate, employees were left out in the climatic and economic cold.

Sears Canada says they regret the loss of jobs, but not as much as the thousands who were directed to the nearest exit with no severance pay.

Canadian bankruptcy laws look after companies holding shares and forget employees holding timecards and pensions.

That needs to change and maybe it will.

READ MORE: Sears liquidation puts pressure on Ottawa to protect pensions

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is using what happened in the demise of Sears, in calling for pension changes.

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This think tank, and it’s time somebody thought about it, wants a company’s payments to shareholders to be limited if their pension plans are not fully funded.

And for good reason – the pension plan at Sears Canada was short nearly $270 million, yet they paid out more than $1 billion in dividends and share buybacks since 2010.

I say it’s time to look after the people on the front line.

Let me know what you say.

Bob Layton is the news manager of the Corus Edmonton group of radio stations and a commentator for Global News.

Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ ongoing coverage of Sears Canada going out of business.