Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday October 12, 2017
Tough Times for Sears and CRA
Sears Canada workers are feeling confused and angry after learning on Tuesday that the retailer plans to close its remaining 130 stores.
If Sears gets court approval, it would start liquidating the stores as early as Oct. 19, putting the retailer out of business and about 12,000 employees out of work.
“Many of us feel frustrated, anger, betrayal,” a Sears manager told CBC News in an email on Tuesday. He and another employee interviewed asked that we not publish their names because they still work for the retailer and fear retribution.
“People don’t know what to do,” said the manager about staff at his location. “Many people went home already as they were physically upset and needed some personal space.”
A Sears memo sent to staff Wednesday said workers will lose their jobs as early as within the next few days, but that some will stay on for a few months. It also explained that employees will lose their benefits as soon as they’re terminated. (Source: CBC)
Meanwhile, The federal government appears to be doing away with a controversial tax policy interpretation that would have seen employees taxed for discounts they get at work.
Amid a growing controversy, a spokesperson for National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier said Wednesday that the government will pull the new wording at the heart of the debate from the Canada Revenue Agency website.
Spokesperson John Power said the CRA made the original decision to change the wording, not Lebouthillier.
“This document was not approved by the minister and we are deeply disappointed that the agency posted something that has been misinterpreted like this,” he said in an emailed statement.
The CRA will hold an internal review on the wording change, which will be followed by a consultation on the issue with industry groups, Power added.
The former wording in the employer’s guide on the issue of employee benefits was to be reinstated as early as Wednesday afternoon. (Source: Toronto Star)