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Even as they train their Chinese replacements, workers at Bain Capital-owned Sensata Technologies, in Freeport, Illinois, continue to fight to keep the 165 jobs that are currently slated to be moved to China by the end of the year. Tuesday night, workers, accompanied by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), delivered 35,000 petition signatures to Bain Capital.
The petition calls on Bain Capital to "save these jobs before it's too late." It also names Mitt Romney, the former Bain Capital CEO, asking him to "speak out and insist that Bain Capital—a company that he helped start and that he continues to profit from—do the right thing."
Having had no luck reaching Mitt Romney at his campaign offices (one of which called the police on workers trying to deliver a letter), workers will be going to the Republican National Convention in Tampa to plead their cause.
Workers point the finger at Romney because he set Bain on the path to increased outsourcing; "He was actually the one who created the model. I do blame him," Cheryl Randecker told the Huffington Post. But while the workers losing their jobs are clear what's going on, up the ladder it's all denial denial denial.
Romney maintains he hasn't had anything to do with Bain since 1999 (actually 2002), but he has significant investments in the Bain funds that control Sensata. Bain and Sensata insist that Bain isn't making the decisions and the outsourcing is coming from Sensata. But Bain owns 51 percent of Sensata, and the percentage of the company's jobs that are in the United States has dropped steadily under Bain's ownership. With Bain—and Romney—standing to profit from their ownership of Sensata, it's not exactly crazy to think they might have some ability to influence job losses there.
But while Republicans will surely blame the Sensata workers if they stay unemployed for more than a month or two, accountability at the top is not how our economy works. So Mitt Romney will continue to say, and likely to believe, that he has nothing to do with Sensata when it comes to job losses. When it comes to profits, he'll be right there expecting a check. After all, he's a major investor.