Sears Lays Off 100 at Illinois Headquarters

Cuts don't violate $150 million tax credit approved by Illinois, rep says

Thursday, Feb 16, 2012  |  Updated 1:57 PM CDT
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Quinn on Sears Leaving Illinois

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Quinn on Sears Leaving Illinois

Gov. Pat Quinn says he doesn't think Sears will ultimately leave Illinois, pointing out the state's place in the Midwest economy and its recent track for job growth.

Quinn on Sears Leaving Illinois

Gov. Pat Quinn says he doesn't think Sears will ultimately leave Illinois, pointing out the state's place in the Midwest economy and its recent track for job growth.
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Sears laid off 100 workers at its headquarters outside of Chicago on Thursday, two months after the company got a hefty tax credit for dropping a threat to move its headquarters out of state.

Sears Holding Corp. spokesman Chris Brathwaite said the layoffs of "about 100 associates" at its headquarters in Hoffman Estates took effect immediately.

Brathwaite said the job cuts do not violate the terms of a $150 million tax credit for Sears approved by the Illinois legislature in December after the company threatened to move its headquarters out of Illinois.

The Sears spokesman said the headquarters workforce will remain above the job levels required in the legislation even with Thursday's layoffs.

"We are well above the minimum headcount requirements for both the existing legislation expiring in the fall and the new legislation which takes effect in 2013," he said in an email to The Associated Press. "It's important to know that under the legislation if we don't meet our obligations we receive no benefits."

About 6,100 people currently work at the Hoffman Estates site, he said.

"These decisions are never easy, but they are necessary as part of our efforts to transform the company," Brathwaite said.

The jobs cut represented a mix of different positions and came from several departments. Those who are eligible will receive severance, Brathwaite said.

"We're focused on improving our business and continuing to be a strong, contributing member of the Illinois business community," he said.

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