If you are hearing about a company named Sensata, here is the story. Right now this company is moving equipment out of a factory in Freeport, Il. and shipping it to China. They are making the workers there train their Chinese replacements. And at the end of the year they are laying off the American workers. The workers have set up a camp across from the factory and have named it Bainport. (please click!) Supporters are trying to block the trucks, and some have been arrested. This is all happening right now, even as Mitt Romney says he wants to "get tough on China." So the workers have asked Romney to come to Freeport and help them.
"The week before they came they took the American flag down outside the plant. The week after they left they put it back up."
See Wendi Kent's moving photos of the Bainport camp, where workers are asking Romney to hep them:
What's Going On?
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney started the "private equity" firm Bain Capital. Bain Capital makes its money by purchasing companies using "leveraged buyouts" that borrow huge sums using the purchased company's own assets as collateral. They often use part of the borrowed money to immediately pay itself. Bain then cuts costs by doing things like sending jobs to China, cutting wages and manipulating tax rules to cut taxes owed, along with standard big-business practices like consolidating business units, taking advantage of economies of scale not available to smaller competitors, squeezing distribution channels for price cuts, and other practices that bring competitive advantages. (Please see "So DID Mitt Romney Really 'Create Jobs' At Staples?" for a look at how this works.) Then, after reorganizing the purchased companies Bain "harvests" them for profit. ("Harvest" is Romney's word, watch the linked video.)
Bain Capital purchased a sensor manufacturer that makes key components for our automobile supply chain, and named it Sensata. They immediately announced that they're closing a factory in Freeport, Ill., and sending the manufacturing and jobs to China to save money. (This is significant because China is engaged in efforts to dominate American auto supplies. See "China Cheating Costs 400K Auto Parts Jobs" and "Why The Latest Trade Complaint Against China Matters." )
Bain/Sensata brought in Chinese workers and made the Freeport workers train them. Bain/Sensata is moving the equipment out of the Freeport factory and shipping it to China right now. The Freeport employees have set up a camp outside the factory that they call Bainport and are trying to stop the Bain trucks that are moving the equipment out for shipment to China. Supporters were arrested this week, trying to stop those trucks.
The Sensata employees have asked Romney to come to Freeport/Bainport and help them. Read on to learn about Romney's response to the Sensata workers, and how Romney is actually making big money right now from shipping their jobs to China.
Mitt Romney is not running Bain Capital anymore. While he still makes millions from the company, and gets checks from the profits made when they ship jobs to China, this is a tremendous opportunity for him. Can you imagine a better spokesman for the Bainport employees than the former head of Bain Capital, who now says he opposes the kinds of things that Bain Capital is doing here?
This is an opportunity for Romney to show the public that he actually means it when he says he wants to do something about companies sending jobs to China! Here is his former company, people who know him, sending jobs to China right now and there is no one in a better position to put pressure on them to stop this than the former head of the company, and on top of that a presidential candidate!
What an opportunity for Romney to show that he means what he says!
Will Romney Help?
Mitt Romney wants to be president, and polls show that the public overwhelmingly wants something done about jobs and factories moving to China and the resulting pressure that puts on the rest of us and on our economy. So Romney says he will do something about it.
But Romney's current actions are opposite his current words. He complains about China currency manipulation, but refuses to ask the Republican House leadership to bring the China currency bill up for a vote, and refuses to ask more than 60 Republican co-sponsors of that bill to sign a "discharge petition" that would force a vote.
And Romney refuses to even meet with Sensata workers. When asked if Romney would help these workers the Romney campaign says Romney will not do it:
"Governor Romney has not worked at Bain Capital for over a decade, but for four years President Obama has been presiding over an economy that is creating too few jobs and sending more jobs overseas. Despite the President being invested in Sensata through his personal pension fund, and the government owning a major Sensata customer in GM, President Obama has not used his powers to help this situation in any way."-- Curt Cashour, Romney Campaign Spokesman.
PS -- SNL
Here is SNL addressing the disparity between how Chinese workers are treated (because they don't have a say) and American expectations:
For More On Sensata
Paul Harris at the Guardian: 'I"m sick to my stomach': anger grows in Illinois at Bain's latest outsourcing plan
Bain Of Our Existence -- Go To place for stories and info about Bain Capital.
Laura Clawson at Daily Kos: Mitt Romney profits as Bain sends American jobs to China PLUS a Daily Kos campaign: Send a message of support to the Sensata workers as they fight to keep their jobs and shine a light on what a Romney economy would look like.
Here is a Democracy Now! report: