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700 former, current Shopko workers seek severance pay

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A Shopko retail store in North Branch, Minn.
A Shopko retail store in North Branch, Minn.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News

More than 700 former and current Shopko workers have signed a letter seeking severance payments.

The move comes after a federal judge on Friday approved the Wisconsin-based retailer's plan to exit bankruptcy protection and wind down its operations. The approval clears the way for Shopko to shut down its remaining stores this month.

The Green Bay Press Gazette reported that employees are seeking severance from Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm that bought Shopko for $1 billion in 2005. A representative with Sun Capital did not return a message left after hours Friday by the Associated Press.

The employees have said they were promised severance pay after Shopko filed for bankruptcy in January, but the payments were taken out of the budget during court proceedings.

Shopko had 35 stores listed in Minnesota when it announced liquidation plans in March. 

MPR News contributed to this report.