Sears and ex-workers deliberate on appointing trustee to review payments

TORONTO — Lawyers representing former Sears Canada workers and their ex-employer are trying to reach an agreement on whether a trustee should be appointed to review nearly $3 billion paid to shareholders even as the retailer business was in decline.

The ex-workers are upset the payments were made pension fund had a short-fall, which was about $266.8 million when Sears Canada sought court protection from creditors.

The opposing parties deliberated behind closed doors Thursday at Ontario Superior Court in Toronto.

The workers claim the bulk of the $3 billion was paid to Sears Canada’s largest shareholder U.S. hedge fund ESL Investments and its CEO Eddie Lampert — a claim disputed by ESL.

A representative for ESL told The Canadian Press that the company and Lampert only received five per cent of the dividends paid out to shareholders.

Lampert took control of Sears in 2005 and says ESL suffered significant losses from the company’s 2017 bankruptcy.

After he and other shareholders were paid by the company, he claims Sears had $500 million in cash available for use and no debt.

Lampert also claims the former employees’ $300-million figure is deceitful because it conflates Sears’ retirement plan with health, dental and life insurance that he says has gone unfunded since 2008.

In their motion, the workers also say they are owed $400 million for unpaid health and life-insurance benefits.

Just Posted

Alberta’s biathlon women sweep the podium

Alberta biathletes take four medals, including silver in men’s race, on Sunday

Red Deer songwriter draws on winter, childhood to write Games closing ceremonies song

Kayla Williams is excited to perform ‘Something Right’ March 2 at the Centrium.

House in Calgary destroyed in fire following apparent explosion, officials say

CALGARY — A house was destroyed when a fire broke out following… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

Chicago police: Jussie Smollett assault case has ‘shifted’

Chicago police said Saturday the investigation into the assault reported by Jussie… Continue reading

Still-active human rights case speaks to lasting homophobia in Canada: activists

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Just over 14 years ago, the government of… Continue reading

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

MONTREAL — A Canadian couple who had to leave Haiti due to… Continue reading

Man charged in daughter’s death in hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wound: police

Police say a man charged with first-degree murder in the death of… Continue reading

Cabinet expected to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

OTTAWA — Canada’s energy regulator will tell the federal government this week… Continue reading

South African activists try to protect endangered pangolins

JOHANNESBURG — As World Pangolin Day is marked around the globe, Saturday,… Continue reading

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt, B.C.

Greg and Gerry Latham spent Friday morning scrambling to pack up family… Continue reading

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual assault: British newspaper

LONDON — A British newspaper says police in London are investigating an… Continue reading

Most Read