Booker, Menendez, Pascrell Statement on Creation of $20M Fund for Toys ‘R’ Us Employees
NEWARK, NJ – U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) issued the following joint statement regarding today’s announcement of the creation of a $20 million financial assistance fund for Toys ‘R’ Us employees.
In March, Toys ‘R’ Us announced it would be closing its stores and laying off all 33,000 workers, including more than 1,500 in New Jersey. Following that announcement, Toys ‘R’ Us stated in a letter to employees that they would not pay out severance due to its financial condition.
“Fundamental to our values as Americans is the ideal that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to get ahead. For months, we have been raising concerns around the lack of support for impacted Toys ‘R’ Us employees and their families in an effort to provide some measure of fairness to the workers who built a great New Jersey company. Today marks a positive step toward fulfilling a moral obligation to thousands of former Toys ‘R’ Us workers.
“This financial assistance fund will provide workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own a better chance to provide for their families, stay in their homes, and rebuild their lives. We are hopeful that the fund administrator and former employees will continue to work together to ensure robust funding and a transparent and equitable process for this fund moving forward.”
In June, Booker, Menendez, and Pascrell stood with Toys ‘R’ Us workers and advocates outside the iconic New Jersey-based retailer in Wayne demanding fairness for workers following the bankruptcy.
“We urge you to fully examine and adopt any and all measures to support the 33,000 Toys ‘R’ Us employees who are losing their jobs through no fault of their own and now have to navigate the hard transition,” the lawmakers wrote in a June letter to the company’s former owners. “We can all agree they deserve nothing less than the fullest support possible.”
Rep. Pascrell previously penned an op-ed for USA Today on the Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy, and warned that without reforms, more cherished retailers would be driven under.