Bain Capital, still partly owned by GOP leader Mitt Romney, is hurting a small Illinois city by closing a local factory and shipping its jobs to China, Britain's Guardian newspaper reports. It's a classic example of ruthless "offshoring."
Bain owns controlling interest in Sensata, which makes auto sensors. To increase profits, it decided to close Sensata's plant at Freeport, Ill., lay off its 170 workers, and ship the plant's machinery to China.
Worse, the doomed Illinois employees are required to train visiting Chinese workers how to operate the sensor-making equipment that soon will be gone.
"It's a surreal experience, they say. For months, they have watched their plant being dismantled and shipped to China, piece by piece, as they show teams of Chinese workers how to do the jobs they have dedicated their lives to," the English paper reported.
It described how middle-aged Illinois workers face joblessness, fearing loss of their homes and futures. Petition drives to save their plant have been futile. Illinois politicians protest the closure, to no avail.
The paper says presidential aspirant Mitt Romney "still owns millions of dollars of shares in the Bain funds that own Sensata. So as Sensata strips out costs by sacking American workers in favor of Chinese ones, the value of Romney's own investments could rise, putting money into the pockets of a Republican challenger who has placed job-creation in America at the heart of his bid for the White House."
One doomed employee told The Guardian: "When Romney talks about creating jobs, it's just a big fairy tale." Another said: "When I hear Romney speak, it makes me sick to my stomach."
Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp said Sensata operated profitably in Illinois -- "But Bain Capital decided to squeeze it a little further. That is not what capitalism is meant to be about."
Romney vowed recently that he would create 12 million American jobs during his first term as president. As the Illinois worker said, it's a fairy tale. He's already 170 in the hole.
Incidentally, several newspapers report that Romney launched Bain Capital in the 1980s with $9 million he obtained from rich El Salvador families who also paid for "death squads" that killed leftist students and labor organizers in the Central American nation.Bain is tarnished in several ways.