Romney Invested in Company that is Outsourcing Jobs, Forcing Workers to Train their Chinese Replacements

Travis Waldron
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Saturday 25 August 2012
“Bain took control of Sensata in 2006; last year, it took over the Freeport plant and announced that it would layoff 165 workers and close it.”
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Workers at Sensata Technologies, a business based in Freeport, Illinois, have been protesting Mitt Romney’s campaign stops across the country all summer because the company, which is owned by Bain Capital, is laying off workers in order to hire employees in China. Bain took control of Sensata in 2006; last year, it took over the Freeport plant and announced that it would layoff 165 workers and close it.

Some of the workers, according to Sensata employees, have been forced to train their Chinese replacements, adding insult to the injury that was their looming job loss.

Bain’s role in the layoffs hasn’t been a secret. But given that it took control of Sensata and the plant well after Romney’s departure from the firm, the candidate has thus far steered clear of the controversy, only drawing protests from the workers who want him to step in and stop the plant’s closure. But according to documents detailing Romney’s finances obtained and published yesterday by Gawker, his connection to Sensata is much more direct.

Romney held a direct investment in Sensata through one fund titled “Bain Capital Fund IX, L.P.,” dated December 31, 2009, meaning he has likely financially benefited from Bain’s ownership of the company in the past, and could benefit from the plant’s closure and the outsourcing of the jobs to China. According to his 2011 personal financial disclosure, Romney still holds the Bain Capital fund that contains the Sensata investment.

Romney has a history of outsourcing jobs as the chief executive of Bain Capital. The Washington Post reported in June that under Romney’s leadership Bain “invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.” Other companies in which the firm invested sent jobs to Mexico and other low-wage countries around the world.

While that history might be politically toxic, Romney’s proposals wouldn’t stop the outsourcing of American jobs. In fact, his plan to reform the corporate tax code by instituting a territorial tax system would make it easier for American companies to outsource jobs, while at the same time encouraging them to store even more money in offshore tax havens.

Sensata workers, meanwhile, are planning to protest Romney and Bain’s involvement in Sensata at the Republican National Convention next week.



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ABOUT Travis Waldron

Travis Waldron is a reporter/blogger for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Travis grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and holds a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Kentucky. Before coming to ThinkProgress, he worked as a press aide at the Health Information Center and as a staffer on Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s 2010 Senate campaign. He also interned at National Journal’s Hotline and was a sports writer and political columnist at the Kentucky Kernel, the University of Kentucky’s daily student newspaper.

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8 comments on "Romney Invested in Company that is Outsourcing Jobs, Forcing Workers to Train their Chinese Replacements"

yellowdogdemo

August 25, 2012 9:04pm

Yes, Oldhat is a loser. (S)he fails in content, grammar, and punctuation.

jackwenayscott's picture
jackwenayscott
WA
August 25, 2012 6:21pm

I hereby declare oldhat the loser! Yup, but I personally oppose wind power because it louses up nature's areas. I first saw wind power on the hills east of who??? L.A. ....yup, and quite an imposing sight, thousands of acres ruined when, indeed, the Los Angelians COULD put Solar Panels on their houses, shops, and cars. Now, just because I don't watch any TV, I still can HEAR it blabbing happily away at Mother, and recently cracks seemed to have formed in the Empire's attitude about never showing Solar, did I actually hear a Solar Panel commercial? Did PBS actually do a little report on Solar, SHOWING Solar Panels? Yup, they'll embarrass me and my attitudes, no matter what they have to do! This current TV campaign by Nation of Change makes me feel a little peculiar, any money I donate goes into television's coffers, reinforcing their status as the 1%, but what are we to do? It's the only game in town, and ya gotta play!

oldhat

August 25, 2012 10:02am

http://investigativereportingworkshop.org/investigations/wind-energy-fun...

show 88.1% of wind $ went overseas

dwdallam

August 25, 2012 3:16pm

@Oldhat

Seriously, do you just look for oddball writs that you agree with without investigating their claims, and then accept them? Learn to do research. A couple University level classes on the subject should serve you well.

rsm

August 25, 2012 11:41am

Somewhat misleading Oldhat. The reality is that there are only two homegrown American turbine manufacturers of any significance – General Electric and Clipper Wind . Both also import some parts from factories overseas. The two main thrusts of investing in wind power is reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and creating jobs in the US.
Moreover, the amount of money the US funds to wind power research and development is a mere pittance compared to the billions given to multi-national oil companies and the amount paid to foreign governments to "protect" the oil companies' interests in those countries.

oldhat

August 25, 2012 9:53am

like bho investing USA tax dollars in solar co so they can build plant in china

rsm

August 25, 2012 11:47am

Excerpted from FactCheck.org
http://www.factcheck.org/2012/05/stimulus-money-for-jobs-overseas/

As we reported recently, the Energy Department has committed $34.7 billion to nearly 40 green projects under low-interest loan programs, according to information published on its website. Two of them — Solyndra ($535 million) and Beacon Power Co. ($43 million) — have filed for bankruptcy, according to a March 12 report by the Government Accountability Office. What, if anything, the U.S. government gets back from the Solyndra deal is up to the bankruptcy court. It looks as if DOE may get back as much as 70 percent of its loans to Beacon. Still, worst-case senario, the government is out a total of $578 million on those two deals. That’s less than 2 percent of the total program, so it’s a stretch to claim the entire $34 billion has been “wasted.”

dwdallam

August 25, 2012 3:17pm

@RSM

Yes, and a 2% failure rate is pretty damn good.