Former Moline Kmart Worker speaks out about mistreatment of employees

Published: Jan. 14, 2019 at 6:48 PM CST
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The last Kmart store in the Quad Cities closed up last week. Now a former employee has a complaint about how she says workers were treated by the company.

“It would have been here for 50 years this year, it's kind of sad to see it empty,” said Dawn Halligan, former Kmart employee.

As Dawn Halligan reflects on working for Kmart. All she sees now is the missing company sign and an empty building that she once called home. For six and a half years, she worked part time, so she could take care of her kids. At first things were good at the job.

“When we first got hired, yeah, we had vacation. You had to work a thousand hours to get any vacation,” said Halligan.

Then over the years she started seeing a change.

“Our hours got cut, it could be down to one day, it could be down to two days, or it could be up to five days,” said Halligan. “They stopped giving us the vacation pay a couple years ago,”

Her pay also stayed the same.

“I still made $8.25 in the end,” said Halligan.

Kmart which is owed by Sears has been facing financial difficulties. It used to have two stores in Davenport and one in Rock Island. All those stores closed a while ago.

The Kmart store in Moline located on Avenue of the Cities was the last of the company's location in the QCA. Halligan says employees didn't think the store would close.

“Did not expect it at all. It was the first that we were thought of our store closing,” said Halligan.

She also says the employees were willing to help the company.

“There was a lot of things that we could be doing that could have helped,” said Halligan.

Halligan says the company cut the severance package in half for full time employees and part timers were left with nothing, leaving her to start looking for another job.

“We did not get any severance, we filed employment but we are not getting much of that either,” said Halligan.

TV6 reached out to the corporate office for a statement but did not hear back. Halligan says she is planning to go to New York to participate in a rally put together by a group called “Rise up Retail" that fights to help retail workers earn better pay, fair hours, among other things.

The City of Moline says a private developer has purchased the former Kmart property. No word on what may happen next in that location.