Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is using Horizontal Wireline Services, a small business outside Pittsburgh, as a prop for today’s campaign stumping.
But there are a couple other companies Romney likely will never get near: American Pad & Paper (Ampad), 25 miles south of his speech today, and Sensata, over in Freeport, Ill.
As Salon reports today, the 170 workers at Sensata are asking Romney for help because the private equity firm he headed, Bain Capital, is the reason the workers are training their replacements when the company moves to China. Salon’s Josh Eidelson writes:
Under Bain’s ownership, the U.S. share of jobs at Sensata dropped to 17 percent in 2007, 12 percent in 2008, 10 percent in 2009 and 9 percent in 2010 and 2011.
U.S. workers are no longer employed at Ampad—the company closed after Bain bought it in a leverage buyout, loaded it with debt and let it go bankrupt. Bain made a $102 million profit. Ampad workers lost their jobs. The bankruptcy hurt more than workers and their families, it devastated a community. When the company folded, it owed 65 mostly small Pennsylvania businesses $1.45 million, which it was unable to pay.
The company remains an empty shell, an apt metaphor for Romney’s campaign promises to create jobs.