‘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

Paul Harris in Freeport, Friday 10 August 2012 16.15 BST

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.

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.

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.

Tom Gaulrapp – no relation to the mayor – worries he will be homeless. “It is a real possibility,” he said. Randecker’s daughter has already quit nursing college in Iowa to save money. Joanne Penniston, 35, is wondering if she will have to leave town. “I would have to uproot my whole family,” she said.

Dot Turner, who joined the firm when she was 18 and freshly married and then put in 43 years on the factory floor, has suddenly found long cherished retirement plans thrown into disarray. She is 62 and knows finding another job will be tough. “I should not be standing in an unemployment line at this stage of my life,” she said.

Turner too finds it hard to hear Romney talk of creating jobs when the post she has worked at for four decades – and which paid for three children to go to college – has just been sent overseas by a firm majority-controlled by Bain. “When Romney talks about creating jobs, it is just a big fairy tale,” she said.

There is little chance of a happy ending for Freeport. The workers collect petitions and hold demonstrations. But they know they are likely doomed. “We are not stupid. We know we are unlikely to save our jobs. But if we get the next company that tries it to think twice, then maybe we save our neighbour’s job. Or our children’s,” said Tom Gaulrapp.

Meanwhile, bit by bit, the machines inside the Freeport plant are being packed up, beginning their long journey to China. By the end of the year it will be over. “It is kind of like part of your family being shipped out – I worked with that stuff for years. Now there’s nothing left but a discoloration on the floor where the equipment used to sit,” Gaulrapp said.


  • Once you understand the roots of this problem it all becomes clear and you can see what is to come as we enter a most terrible future that has been planned all along. If you do not already have knowledge of the wicked plans by the Club of Rome fronted by the Peccei family then you must make sure you get the wisdom fast. Please study the zero-growth post-industrial plan signed in by treasonous U.S. President, Jimmy Carter. Study the Global 2000 Report of this Club of Rome and how they want to bring down western civilization and reduce the population of the Globe by sixty-five percent by 2050 and another thirty-five percent of the surviving populace by 2100. All based on Malthusian myths, whims and lies which have been proven wrong since they began.

    What these people at the factory should have done is known that their jobs were going completely as some point in the near-future. They should have not trained those people and gone on strike. If need be they should have just quit the job entirely and left it in limbo. The problem was that these people are stuck in debt slavery and a middle class level of lifestyle they just do not want to give up and rightfully so. This prevented them from actually using their survival instincts and having a better chance of keeping their work even longer. Its like the people who are paying their bills whilst cutting back on food. Where is the logic? Paying a bank for a loan you have but going without food? A loan that was monopoly digital currency debt to start with and all for what? To keep a credit rating when the banks are bloody broke and having trouble getting credit themselves. You do not own the currency you hold you only have equitable title meaning a right-to-use, you do not have legal title which is the Federal Reserve. Everything you think you own is actually owned by the Federal Reserve in a system now set-up to take it by force in the coming future. You do not own your home even if its paid off, the Federal Reserve owns your home as you have mere fee simple not alloidal title. Why slave like crazy for that?

    This economic system was collapsed on purpose in 2008 as Knight of Malta, George Soros informed the World on live-TV. People are clinging on thinking its as it was but will find out the hard way. Its time to default on debts and statutes barred the slavery. If you keep giving your currency away for loans etc then when you have zero coming in what will you have for food then? This is the way of the Governments of the West making the populace controllable through the destruction of the Middle Class and forced dependence on the State. When will U.S. Citizens wake up see the planned destruction in front of their very eyes aided by treasonous William Clinton and Robert Rubin allowing derivative trading. Derivatives totaling in excess of $1.4 quadrillion now and thus impossible to pay off but a great way to destroy the Western World.

    Notice how all the struggling businesses are being bought up by elite merchant run private-equity firms like Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and Warburg Pincus. They are screwing everyone into the ground so they can buy everything for pennies on the dollar. Take Warburg Pincus and notice how through their control of Poundland they are forcing unemployed to work for free as unpaid slave labour through the nazi Department of Work and Pensions ‘Work Programme’ workfare. The idea eventually will be everyone will be working for scraps from the Governments of the West and it will all be service-sector work with zero-growth and a low peasant class society. A society hoodwinked by an illusional make believe never-never land they live within and believe such as the celebrity and reality-TV culture we have today. All this social-engineering stems from the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations and it’s Stanford Research Institute arm. When hoodwinked you are living in a prison without bars, as they say in the land of the blind, the one-eyed beast rules.

    Welcome to the New World Order most of you denied and probably still do. Welcome to the piracy of the Livery at New Jerusalem through The Worshipful Company of Mercers and the City of London Corporation. The ancient pirates never disappeared they just veiled themselves as their Empire continues no different than of old just united and far stronger today.

    Wake up

    -= The Unhived Mind


  • Wake up America! – Dr. John Coleman (Illuminati, Committee of 300)

    Dr. John Coleman, being a historian in intelligence community, researched in full scope the sinister forces behind the New world order movement. This video lecture represents a culmination of his findings about secret societies which form this global movement and how it came into existence.

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