LINDEN, NJ — The Union County Freeholder Board through its social service and re-employment agencies is offering assistance to any Union County resident who was laid off by Thursday’s Sam’s Club Store closings. 

Sam’s Club maintained a store in Linden, which abruptly closed, laying off almost 200 full-time and part-time employees. Signs posted on the door by management stated, "Sam's Club is closed today. We regret any inconvenience." 

Sam's Club offered an explanation for the closures on Twitter, saying, " After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we've decided to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy.  Closing clubs is never easy and we're committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transistion."

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“We offer our sympathies to our residents who were laid off by this abrupt and unexpected closing,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholder Christopher Hudak, a resident of Linden, in a joint statement. “We would like these former employees to know that the County stands prepared to immediately assist with employment services through our various agencies, and we urge all to take advantage of them.”

"This announcement comes as Walmart today announced it will raise its minimum wage to $11 per hour as a result of the Trump Corporate Tax Give Away." "Sad day for many families in our community." said Freeholder Hudak Facebook post Thursday afternoon.

An unidentified employee of Walmart pharmacy stated "I'm unsure why prescriptions are being transferred to us, we just found out today."

Freeholder Granados, a liaison to the Workforce Development Board, and Freeholder Hudak have already confirmed these County offices have been notified of the closing and are available to assist (more information is available at http://ucnj.org/sams-club-closures.

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead announced employment assistance to the club's former employees.

“It is with great saddest that we are losing one of our box clubs in the area as well as the displacement of so many employees,” Armstead said. “To address this issue we will be sponsoring a job fair, January 22, 2018, through our Linden First employment program along with Sam’s Club, and other businesses to assist the displaced employees.”

Mayor Armstead visited the Linden Sam’s Club location Thursday morning after receiving a 9 a.m. telephone call from its corporate headquarters indicating that the entire facility was closing. While there,  Armstead discussed with management the facility closing and asked how the city may assist the displaced 187 employees, which resulted in the sponsoring of a January 22, 2018, Linden First Job Fair, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Linden Multi Purpose Center, 1025 John Street,Linden, NJ. 

For additional information, please contact the mayor’s office at 908-474-8493.