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Forum Post: when you vote, you can ignore willard's SENSATA - until they come for you

Posted 5 years ago on Oct. 20, 2012, 7:39 a.m. EST by bensdad (8977)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Tom Gaulrapp
33-year Sensata employee
My Pain Is Mitt Romney's Gain: My Story as a Sensata Worker

SENSATA: On Monday, November 5th Bain Capital is outsourcing my job to China. On Tuesday, November 6th I'm casting my vote against Mitt Romney.

Yes, I blame Mitt Romney for the loss of my job. Here's why. I've worked at the same factory in Freeport, Ill. for thirty-three years, making sensors and controls for the auto industry. It's tough work, but it pays a living wage with health benefits that folks can count on, and it fuels our town's economy and tax base.

That's been changing since Bain Capital came to town. Two years ago, our factory was sold to Sensata Technologies, a company created by Bain Capital, and they told us that by December 2012, all 170 of our jobs would be shipped to China. They even made us train our Chinese replacements. Layoff notices have been sent out, and some folks have already been laid off. Where there was once lots of people and energy and life, now there's only the discoloration on the floor where the machinery used to be. It's depressing. They're not just dismantling the equipment and the plant; they're dismantling our community.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do after my job is sent to China. I thought that at this point in my life, after thirty-three years of working at the plant, that I'd be heading toward retirement. Now, I'm worried that I'll be competing with my nephew for the minimum wage jobs that are just about all that's left in our town.

I hold Mitt Romney responsible because he created Bain Capital. He helped pioneer the outsourcing of good American jobs to China, and he created the model that the company has followed over the years. It's a business model that puts profits above people -- at all cost to us back home. And it's the approach he would take as CEO of our country. But Mitt Romney's connection to Sensata is even more direct. He is also personally invested in Sensata Technologies, according to his 2010 and 2011 tax returns, and last year got a huge tax break by moving some of his Sensata stock to one of his foundations.

That's right: Mitt Romney got a big tax break on his investment in his company that's shipping my job to China. My pain is Mitt Romney's gain.
For the past five months, my co-workers and I have been calling on Mitt Romney to step in and save our jobs. We thought hey, this guy is running for president and talking about creating new jobs here in America. He even talks tough about China stealing jobs from America. Here's his chance to help stop 170 jobs from being outsourced to China by his own company.
We held rallies outside of the plant. We collected more than 30,000 petition signatures and delivered them to Bain Headquarters and several Romney campaign offices. Our city council passed a resolution calling on Romney to come to Freeport and save our jobs. We went down to Tampa during the Republican convention to try to meet with the Romney campaign.
For the last four weeks, I've been sleeping in a tent city across from the Sensata plant with several of my co-workers in what we call "Bainport," and we won't leave until Romney steps in. Three of our community supporters have even been arrested for blocking the trucks that are taking the equipment out of the plant and off to China.

But Mitt Romney hasn't lifted a finger to help us. Instead, his campaign blamed the outsourcing of our jobs to China on President Obama, because his pension with the Illinois State government has invested in Sensata. The Romney campaign didn't mention Mitt's personal investment in Sensata, the big tax break he got from shifting his Sensata stock to his foundation, or his own role in Bain's longtime practice of outsourcing. Instead of owning up to his past and helping save our jobs, he decided to play politics with our lives.

In Romney's world, everyone else is guilty and he's the innocent bystander. Fortunately, our story is beginning to be heard. Last week, I was quoted in an article that was on the front page of the New York Times about Romney, Bain and China. Our country should know that the issues being debated in this presidential election are not abstract, and are playing out everyday in my community. In 20 days, on November 5th, I'll be out of a job. In 21 days, on November 6th, Americans head to the ballot box to cast their vote for our country's future. When they do, I hope they'll keep in mind the story of Sensata.



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[-] 4 points by ThomasKent (131) 5 years ago

The Sensata story is like thousands of others where pursuit of corporation profits threw workers with families under the bus on the corporate road to riches.

The air in corporate offices and politics is thick with fraud.

[-] 2 points by ronniepaul2012 (214) 5 years ago

Corporate profits...or helping lift the billioms and billions of folks in China out of poverty? I remember when Americans cared about the plight of citizens in 3rd world countires. Just more proof that no good deed goes unpunished.

[-] 3 points by ThomasKent (131) 5 years ago

China is an example of an undeveloped country without organized labor and environmental protection regulation being hooked on new outsourced industrialization that pays far below the American minimum wage to export products to the United States while millions of home owners of the displaced American middle class will struggle to find minimum wage jobs, have foreclosures,and join the ranks of the homeless and underemployed.

Air Pollution in China


How Bad is Pollution in China?


The United States has environmental regulations and labor laws that were circumvented by American companies outsourcing manufacturing to the undeveloped world. This is very profitable.

[-] 3 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 5 years ago

In a rational world companies like Bain would be outlawed. Vulture capitalism is looting, it's not really any kind of capitalism even. Buildings with milking landlords sooner or later fall down. The vulture capitalists and banksters did the same to our economy.


[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8733) from Phoenix, AZ 5 years ago

Those who say "there is no difference" are as guilty as those who vote for Romney.

A third of the people who voted for Nader in New Hampshire could have kept Bush from the White House:


[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Great post. Romney says he can't change Bains mind on this. He should at least try.

[-] 1 points by mideast (506) 5 years ago

Romney, Bain Capital and Sensata
Romney OWNS 51% of Bain today

Do we vote to put the fox in charge of the chickens? NO
......................................................it is a RABID fox in charge of the chickens

The concept of hierarchy is not difficult to understand for anyone who has been in the military or large organization with a body of persons having authority, and obviously there is always one person at the top with supreme authority. In the military, for example, a general/admiral may have authority over every rank below them, but they still have to answer to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff or the Commander in Chief, the President. The same is true in the corporate world with the CEO at the top of the command structure overseeing and directing the company, and subsequently taking responsibility for any actions of their underlings.

Willard Romney, the Republican candidate for president was CEO of Bain Capital that is in the news for closing Sensata, a company in Freeport Illinois, and shipping manufacturing equipment and jobs to China. Romney claims that since he retired sometime between 1999 and 2002 as head of Bain Capital, he is not responsible for relocating Sensata to China, and has refused to intervene and preserve good-paying American jobs. However, Romney still is involved in Bain Capital, and if he so desired, he could have stopped the factory closure and preserve 170 jobs.

Romney may not be the CEO of Bain Capital, but he is heavily involved in Sankaty Advisors, LLC, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital, LLC that is responsible for relocating Sensata operations to China. Romney's connection to Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. went virtually unnoticed for 15 years and was not listed on any of Romney's state or federal financial reports and only came to light with the release of his 2010 income tax return. The company is among several Romney holdings that have not been fully disclosed as Americans are beginning to discover.

In a 2001 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filling, "Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder, a director, and President of Sankaty Ltd. and thus is the controlling person of Sankaty,Ltd." as well as several Bain entities including Bain Capital. Romney transferred ownership of Sankaty to his wife one day prior to being sworn in as governor of Massachusetts, but it is still "in the family" as far as Romney is concerned.

A visit to the Sankaty website shows it is intricately linked to Bain Capital, and for all intents and purposes, there is every appearance they work hand-in-hand. As of July 2012, Sankaty claims it has $19.3 billion assets under management, and naturally, as CEO, Willard Romney touted one of the Bain Capital's milestones was founding Sankaty Advisors in 1998 which is reflected in SEC filings.

The question that arises then; if Sankaty Advisors is interlinked with Bain Capital, how can Romney claim he has no influence over Bain's closing the Sensata plant and sending Americans' jobs to China? He is certainly profiting from closing the plant through both Bain and Sankaty, and he cannot claim ignorance or that Sankaty is not connected to Sensata Technologies.

In a letter from Sankaty Advisors to investors dated December 2010, they specifically cite Sensata Technologies as one of their investments, and coupled with Romney's severance package from Bain Capital that allows him to share in company profits as if he were still a partner, it is beyond belief that he could not have influenced the move to China. Romney cannot possibly say he was unaware of the plight of Sensata or the employees who are losing their jobs, because they have appealed to him on several occasions to step in and save their jobs.

In fact, Romney has talked tough about jobs going to China and on Saturday in Ohio he said, "It's time for us to stand up to China for their cheating. It's got to stop. We've got to get those jobs back," and earlier this month he said, "China has taken Americans' jobs" while he assailed President Obama for not standing up to China.

When Sensata required American workers to personally train their Chinese replacements before their jobs were eliminated, 170 workers signed an open letter to Romney petitioning him to prevent their jobs from being outsourced to China. They were particularly disturbed that the company physically removed the American Flag before the Chinese replacements arrived to prevent them from being offended, and put it back when the foreign workers left.

The workers appealed to Romney and Bain Capital to keep their jobs in America, but they were chastised, locked out of buildings, and at one Romney campaign headquarters near Madison Wisconsin, were forcibly removed from the property. The workers went to the Republican National Convention in Tampa to entreaty Romney personally, and protestors called them communists and chanted "U.S.A., U.S.A." in an attempt to "make it sound like we were not patriotic" because we wanted to keep good-paying jobs in America.

It is a travesty that Romney did not step in to help the employees at Sensata keep their jobs when he had two avenues of influence to halt the outsourcing. What is mindboggling is that he passed up a prime opportunity to bolster his image as a champion for American jobs in the midst of a presidential campaign. However, Romney's thirst for wealth overrides any sense of political expediency and one wonders if he thought the story would just fade away.

Romney will say Sankaty is held in a blind trust under his wife's name, but as Romney himself said, "blind trusts are an age-old ruse" and that anything a company does is the responsibility of the person at the top. It is also noteworthy to point out that Romney never said he was not still in control of Bain Capital, and it was an advisor, Ed Gillespie, who said he was "retroactively retired" from Bain, and he uses his so-called resignation in February 1999 as an excuse that he "was not responsible for Bain Capital companies that went bankrupt or laid off workers after that date."

Still, he will profit from outsourcing Sensata to China from his Bain Capital and Sankaty Advisors connection while 170 Americans lose their jobs and a community loses a large employer.

The tragedy of 170 Americans losing their jobs to China to profit two of Romney's business interests is giving the American people a living, breathing view of his mindset that personal profits supersede his so-called concern for the American labor force. Regardless of Romney's contention that he will "get those jobs back" from China, he is profiting from sending 170 jobs straight to China after Sensata employees were forced to train their replacements and assist in deconstructing the factory to ship it overseas.

The real issue is that relocating Sensata to China is just one very visible case and there is no way of knowing how many times in the past 28 years Bain Capital has either bankrupted, closed, or sent jobs and companies to China.

Romney could have stopped Sensata employees from losing their jobs if he wanted to either from his Sankaty Advisors or Bain Capital connections. The companies are intertwined and it is curious that both of them claim investment in Sensata that Romney will profit from with the relocation because neither Bain nor Sankaty would send the company to China without a great profit motive. It is tragic that 170 American workers' jobs are being lost in such a public display, but it does give the American people a glimpse into the profit-driven mindset behind everything Romney does and the blatant disregard he has for the people.

Romney exposed his contempt for 47% of Americans because they are too poor to pay income taxes, but with the Sensata story, he is exposing his contempt for middle class Americans who do pay income taxes and if anyone is keeping score, that means he loathes and disdains 98% of America.