1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Workers At Car Part Plant Appeal to Bain/Romney to Save Their Jobs

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by gifford1967, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. gifford1967

    gifford1967 Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Messages:
    8,050
    Likes Received:
    3,905
    'I'm sick to my stomach': anger grows in Illinois at Bain's latest outsourcing plan

    The Sensata plant in Freeport is profitable and competitive, but its majority owner, Bain Capital, has decided to ship jobs to China – and forced workers to train their overseas replacements

    The shock of losing a precious job in a town afflicted by high unemployment is always hard. A foundation for a stable family life and secure home instantly disappears, replaced with a future filled with fears over health insurance, missed mortgage payments and the potential for a slip below the breadline.

    But for Bonnie Borman – and 170 other men and women in Freeport, Illinois – there is a brutal twist to the torture. Borman, 52, and the other workers of a soon-to-be-shuttered car parts plant are personally training the Chinese workers who will replace them.

    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.

    "It's not easy to get up in the morning, training them to do your job so that you can be made unemployed," said Borman, pictured, a mother of three who has worked for 23 years at the Sensata auto sensors plant.
    Bonnie Borman at Sensata in Freeport

    Borman knows her eventual fate in the stricken economy that surrounds Freeport. "I am going to be competing for minimum wage jobs with my own daughter," she said.

    Such scenes have been common in America as manufacturing has fled abroad in search of cheaper wages.

    But, in the midst of the 2012 presidential election, Freeport is different. For Sensata is majority-owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm once led by Mitt Romney, that has become a hugely controversial symbol of how the modern globalised American economy works. Indeed, 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 favour 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.

    The story of how Bain became involved in a car factory in a small town amid the rolling farmland of northern Illinois is emblematic of modern financial wheeling and dealing.

    Bain bought the firm that was to become Sensata in 2006, when it was the Texan arm of a Dutch company. It then floated it on the stock exchange in 2010, but kept a majority stake. Sensata came to own the Freeport plant at the beginning of 2011 as part of a wider purchase of a car parts business from Honeywell.

    Sensata spokesman Jacob Sayer said closing the Freeport plant to cut costs was a key element of the Honeywell deal. "If that had not been part of the strategy, then the deal would not have been so attractive," he said.

    Bain has declined to comment. But it has made a lot of money from owning Sensata, quadrupling its initial 2006 investment. In business circles that focus on the bottom line is all that matters. But, not surprisingly, it cuts less ice in Illinois.

    Workers insist their operation is profitable and makes top quality auto sensors.

    "I understand business needs to make a profit. But this product has always made a ton of money. It's just that they think it is not enough money. They are greedy," said Tom Gaulraupp, who has put in 33 years at the plant and is facing the prospect of becoming jobless at the age of 54.

    Mark Shreck, a 36-year-old father-of-three, confessed he was one of the few workers not surprised at the layoffs, as this is the second time his job has moved to China. "I feel this is what companies do nowadays," he said.
    Freeport mayor George Gaulrapp

    The Freeport workers have appealed to Bain and Romney to save their plant. The local town council, several Illinois politicians and the state's Democratic governor have all rallied to their cause. "This company is competitive globally. They make a profit here. But Bain Capital decided to squeeze it a little further. That is not what capitalism is meant to be about," said Freeport mayor George Gaulrapp, 52, pictured.

    The anger towards Bain and Romney is palpable. Romney has become the target for the emotions of a community who built lives based on the idea of a steady manufacturing job: a concept out of place in the sort of fluid buy-and-sell world from which Bain prospers. "I didn't have a clue what Bain was before this happened," said Cheryl Randecker, 52. "Now when I hear Romney speak it makes me sick to my stomach."

    President Barack Obama's campaign has sought to make Bain's record of buying and selling companies – often involving job losses – a key part of its strategy of painting Romney as an out-of-touch super-rich financier. In turn, Romney, who left Bain in 1999, has defended his long career there, saying Bain ends up generating economic growth and spurring job creation. Far from profiting from layoffs, Romney has portrayed Bain as a model for the American future.

    That argument stuns Illinois governor Pat Quinn. "If he thinks that is the model for American economic growth then he is barking up the wrong tree," Quinn told The Guardian.

    Of course, no one at the Romney campaign wants to be linked with the Freeport plant closure. "Governor Romney is not familiar with this issue and has not been involved in the management of Bain since 1999," said campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg.

    Nor does anyone at Sensata want to discuss the social costs of their decision. "We don't have any statement on the impact it has on Freeport," said Sayer. Bain did not return a request for comment.

    But the impact is enormous on individuals and city alike. Freeport, a city of 26,000, is struggling. Its downtown features empty store fronts and businesses barely getting by.

    The loss of 170 solid well-paying jobs will ripple out into this economy, further straining city resources, hurting businesses and eventually adding to Freeport's foreclosure problem. "There is a sense of fright. People don't know what this means for their families, their health insurance and whether they will keep their homes," said mayor Gaulrapp.

    It is already happening...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/aug/10/illinois-workers-bain-outsourcing
     
  2. thadeus

    thadeus Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    726
    AMERICA

    **** YEAH
     
  3. Classic

    Classic Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    6,101
    Likes Received:
    608
    That's hard to read.
     
  4. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    20,464
    Likes Received:
    488
    Romney? He's running for president.
     
  5. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Messages:
    18,317
    Likes Received:
    5,089
    If Freeport had offered enough tax abatements the plant might have stayed.
    Cut a few fireman, a couple of teachers.

    Can't be sentimental and pay cash for Bentley.
    If the town was as smart and worked as hard as Bain, they could have bought the plant themselves.
     
    #5 Dubious, Aug 13, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  6. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Messages:
    8,878
    Likes Received:
    3,170
    Its hard to really understand American manufacturing while growing up in Texas. It's just not a part of the economy there and its so easy to talk about it in the abstract and simply reduce it to a question of labor costs.

    But after moving to the Midwest, and really seeing manufacturing first hand. These types of moves are absolutely devastating. I've seen entire communities that have been ruined by the process and as someone who's as big an advocate for free trade as anyone else, it has really made me rethink my beliefs a little bit.

    Its clear that the Germans have found a formula to maintain manufacturing at a competitive level with the rest of the world and at one time we had that going for us as well. GM's attempts to move car manufacturing to Mexico was more or less a failure as worker productivity took a gigantic nosedive and the labor costs you saved were offset by gigantic declines in worker productivity.

    After moving to the Midwest and actually interacting with families with union workers in manufacturing, its almost depressing to even talk about what once was. The fall of American manufacturing has almost been invisible to much of the country but you can see it in the Midwest and it only makes you shake your head.

    I'm not sure what the answer is. I still am a strong believer in free trade but I also don't feel comfortable seeing good hardworking people getting screwed out of good jobs. With all the focus on job creation, I can't help but think that we've actually done a pretty piss poor job of creating high wage jobs that are accessible to the middle class.

    /rant
     
  7. trueroxfan

    trueroxfan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,170
    Likes Received:
    143
    I agree, we need to find a way to give incentive to companies to retain jobs in the US without dissolving our economic and governmental principles.
     
  8. thumbs

    thumbs Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,225
    Likes Received:
    237
    What? Not a word about GM about to move all those manufacturing jobs to China? With Obama's blessing, GM is going to soon start building GM cars in China. I wonder what automotive union people will say about that. Oh, wait, could it be that their union leadership has already been paid off?
     
  9. Mathloom

    Mathloom Shameless Optimist
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    18,460
    Likes Received:
    18,563
    The wonders of free trade. Better to move those jobs abroad since they are cheaper and the complaints of foreign laborers are easier dealt with than American.

    Now the President only has to worry about an excuse for unemployment which can be dealt with by riding the financial crisis, redefining words, etc.
     
  10. MrRoboto

    MrRoboto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    61
    I have not heard of Obama sending GM to China. Please provide a link as it sounds interesting.

    Meanwhile - is your intended message that two wrongs make a right?
     
  11. madmonkey37

    madmonkey37 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    2,499
    Likes Received:
    52
    I guess it depends on the details. Is GM closing plants in the US and moving them to China, and then importing the cars back to the US. Or is GM opening plants in China to manufacture cars that are to be sold in China. The automotive market in China is huge and still has tons of room for growth, while it is quite stagnant in the US\Western World. In addition to the growing market, American cars are quite popular in China, especially Buick. Seems like it would be a smarter investment to have cars that are meant for the Chinese market to be made in China, since it would avoid a lot of disadvantages of exporting cars to China.
     
  12. thadeus

    thadeus Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    726
    That seems to be the only message thumbs is capable of communicating these days.

    Also, it's these dumbasses' own faults that they're losing their jobs - obviously they are not as intelligent and hardworking as the valiant men of Bain Capital.
     
  13. gifford1967

    gifford1967 Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Messages:
    8,050
    Likes Received:
    3,905
    Can you provide a source for this?
     
  14. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    17,206
    Likes Received:
    9,001
    '
    got to that line and stopped. There is no slave labor in America there is no 'forcing' anyone to do any job. Obviously a biased article.
     
  15. thadeus

    thadeus Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    726
    ...as if Bain didn't have all the power in this scenario. Sure, the employees could have just quit - but they're all about to be unemployed, and probably needed that last paycheck.

    From your perspective, no one is ever "forced" to do anything because, really, we could all just kill ourselves.
     
  16. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    17,206
    Likes Received:
    9,001
    .
    Bain doesn't have all the power and the employees could tell them to '**** off'. IF the employees did Bain would be stuck. You act like Bain is obligated to keep them on payroll and offer them work they like. That's not how it works in the real world pal
     
  17. thadeus

    thadeus Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    726
    Ugh, I tried a rational argument with tallanvor again. I need to stop doing that.
     
  18. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    31,280
    Likes Received:
    14,834
    Romney no longer works at Bain Capital, fyi
     
  19. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1999
    Messages:
    26,195
    Likes Received:
    468
    Bet he still gets a cut.
     
  20. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    37,717
    Likes Received:
    18,919
    if we can just eliminate taxes on the rich and cut all gov't spending than you know what, bain would magically keep jobs here!

    Because without roads and an education population, and a healthy population, and all that junk, corporations which already pay 0 in taxes would have incentives to do.......something. Yeah, something. And rich people, with all that cash they have don't have to hide it in the cayman islands. Now they can put it in a real growth area like China.

    Further more, by making the richer even richer, they will trickle it down to others. They will hire more butlers and people to shine their shoes. They will need a bigger staff for their mansions. They will need more real estate agents to help them buy property, and more car salesman to help them get more Bentleys.

    Just think of the 100's of jobs that would be created if we just reduced taxes on the rich to 0!!!!
     

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now