Originally appeared on BNN.ca on July 13, 2017
Once an advertising star for Sears, now fighting for his benefits, Peter Myers thinks Thursday’s agreement between Sears Canada and its employees is a show of humanity.
“It feels that there has been a lot of humanity in the proceedings,” Myers told BNN outside a downtown Toronto courtroom on Thursday, where Sears presented an update on its restructuring strategy.
Sears Canada employees are seeking severance and benefits after the company’s June restructuring announcement that forced the company to close 59 stores and cut 2,900 employees. Sears said on Thursday it has agreed to extend benefits and payments to retirees until September.
“There seems to be at least the willingness to listen to the plight of the employees that have been severed, the pensioners who have been kind of cut off from certain benefits. So, at least there appears to be – at this point – a feeling that concerns are being listened to,” he added.
Myers came to the limelight in 2014 when he starred in a company ad with his celebrity brother: Wayne’s World and Austin Powers star Mike Myers.
The ad – which featured Peter alongside Mike – was geared at drawing Canadians back to the retailer as it faced store closures in the Greater Toronto Area. The video – previously uploaded to YouTube by Sears Canada’s account – has been removed from the platform. The French-language version has not yet been removed.
“I’ve been asked many times over the years to get Mike involved in some sort of commercials… I’d always said no,” said Myers, who worked for the embattled retailer for almost 36 years, most recently as senior director of planning at the company’s Toronto office.
“I said, ‘I’ll do this commercial if it’s about how Sears isn’t closing.’”
And so the ad, with its cheeky nods to corporate restructuring and the new tag line ‘Sears Canada: My brother works here’ were born.
Myers sees the irony in the correlation between the ad and his current situation.
“I see the irony… On the day we shot the commercial, Mike turned to me at one point when we were having a break and he said, ‘I guess they can never fire you now,’ and we laughed because it was not really a thing.”