Freeport’s Sensata workers join in urging Romney to disclose investments or divest

Online Staff Report

FREEPORT, Ill. — Workers facing outsourcing at Freeport’s Sensata Technologies plant are joining in the effort to urge Republican presidential candidate and former Bain Capital CEO/co-founder Mitt Romney to disclose his investments to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics or divest.

Tom Gaulrapp, a 33-year veteran of the Bain-owned Freeport Sensata Technologies plant, explained: “When Sensata bought our plant, we didn’t even know that it was owned by Bain Capital or that Mitt Romney owned stock in the company. We had to find out from articles on the Internet. We the people have a right to know what companies the presidential candidates are invested in. How many other Sensatas are out there? Is Mitt Romney profiting from any other companies shipping jobs to China?”

The Sensata workers are responding to a letter sent Nov. 1 to Don W. Fox, general counsel of the Office of Government Ethics. The letter alleges that Romney “has not even attempted to meet the requirements for a federal blind trust with respect to his substantial equity holdings. The only way for this law to be enforced in a meaningful way is for your office to act promptly to demand that candidate Romney disclose his stock holdings, or divest them if disclosure is not feasible.”

The letter was sent by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, D.C., People for the American Way, Public Campaign, Public Citizen, SEIU, UAW and The Social Equity Group, and it follows up on a previous letter sent to the Office of Government Ethics Aug. 23 that urged the office to act.

Sensata has emerged as a flashpoint in the controversy over Romney’s ties to China this fall. Sensata workers have pleaded publicly with Romney to help save their jobs from being outsourced to China. Not only does Romney stand to profit from the outsourcing of the jobs through the stock he still owns in the company, his 2011 tax returns show he got a huge tax break by moving Sensata stock to a charity organization he controls.

According to SEC filings, Romney served as CEO of the private equity investment firm Bain Capital from its founding in 1984 until 2002. Romney, however, has repeatedly said he left the company in 1999.

Bain Capital-owned Sensata plans to close the Freeport plant in December and outsource the plant’s 170 jobs to China. Workers at the plant have been training their Chinese replacements, who have been flown to Illinois by the company.

Created by Bain in 2006, Sensata develops, manufactures, and sells sensors and controls for major auto manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors.

Click here for previous articles about Sensata.

Posted Nov. 1, 2012

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