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United For Respect Leader Exposes Adverse Effects of Private Equity on Working Families at Congressional Hearing with Maxine Waters, AOC


House Financial Services Committee hearing is first congressional oversight on private equity


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Giovanna de la Rosa, a former Toys ‘R’ Us employee and current United for Respect leader, shared the damage of the private equity industry on her livelihood with the House Financial Services Committee. After her testimony, she shared the following statement:

“I am honored to represent the voices of millions of people across the retail, media, and health care industries whose jobs are being destroyed by private equity. Private equity is about rich people getting richer, even if it means working people have to suffer. We won’t accept this. It’s time for our elected leaders to not just understand the harms of private equity but also have the courage to rein in and regulate a reckless industry.”

De la Rosa, from Chula Vista, California, had worked at Toys ‘R’ Us for twenty years until KKR and Bain Capital announced the company’s liquidation last year. You can read her story in her op-ed HERE.

During the hearing, which was the first congressional oversight hearing on private equity, de la Rosa exposed private equity’s destruction of not only on 30,000 jobs at Toys ‘R’ Us but also a total of 1.3 million retail jobs over the last ten years.

United for Respect, along with Americans for Financial Reform and Center for Popular Democracy, released findings from a comprehensive study of private equity’s practices earlier this year. The study, Pirate Equity — How Wall Street Firms Are Pillaging American Retail, can be found HERE.

De la Rosa was joined by Center of Economic Policy and Research Co-Director Eileen Appelbaum and Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) trustee Wayne Moore, as well as representatives from industry, and faced questioning about the ways her life–and the lives of her coworkers–were altered after private Wall Street firms bought her employer and systematically destroyed it. Members of the committee looked beyond the retail sector to discuss how private equity has had similar adverse effects for workers and the American public in other industries, including Emergency Medical Services, hospitals, our criminal justice system, grocery stores, and local and national media.

In November, leaders with United for Respect held a roundtable with Congressman Chuy Garcia in Chicago and will continue to reach out to lawmakers to meet with them and encourage them to support working families on Capitol Hill by supporting the Stop Wall Street Looting Act.