WASHINGTON, D.C. – While Toys’R’Us is opening stores in the United States, Democrats are calling out vulture capitalist practices that are leaving thousands of Americans without jobs and benefits.
They’re taking aim at private equity firms they say are buying companies, draining them financially and leaving workers behind all to make a buck.
“”I didn’t receive the severance I was told I was getting.”
Story after story.
“They loaded us up with debt, sucked out any profit and then threw us away.”
Workers from across the country say instead of helping, private equity firms left their companies bankrupt and them without a job.
“This is not the future I imagined and work so hard to build.”
Jake Soha joined a group of former Sears and Toys’R’Us employees on Capitol Hill in protest. He says his company ShopKo is Wall Street’s latest victim.
In March, he and thousands were laid off when a private equity firm took over.
“We were a family we stayed loyal to the company but unfortunately we didn’t receive the same loyalty back.”
“These workers deserve better.”
After watching what happened at ShopKo, Democrat Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin is pushing a plan to hold firms accountable.
“This bold reform will help rewrite the rules of our economy and protect workers from predatory practices.”
Baldwin’s plan makes worker’s pay and pensions a priority after a business goes bankrupt. She hopes that prevents private equity firms from profiting from a company’s failure.
“Enough of Wall street ripping off and looting.”
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown are among the state of Democrats rallying behind the bill.
“They don’t honor work they don’t respect work they don’t support workers.”
But Republican Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson says Democrats should let the free market do its job.
“If ShopKo was financially successful it would still be in business.”
“I don’t have a great deal of faith of the federal government intervening without screwing things up, so my guess is I wouldn’t be supportive.”
Even with widespread Democrat support, Johnson says the bill doesn’t stand a chance in the Republican controlled Senate.
(This story was originally published on July 18, 2019)