·  USW

USW Sets Record Straight on Mitt Romney Jobs Record

Contact: Gary Hubbard, 202-256-8125, ghubbard@usw.org
             Wayne Ranick, 412-562-2444; wranick@usw.org

Listen to the audio of today’s press call HERE. (13 minutes running time).
Pittsburgh, PA  (Dec. 16) – United Steelworkers International Vice President Tom Conway held a press call today to set the record straight about the millions of dollars that Mitt Romney, candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has made as a corporate buyout specialist by eliminating American jobs.

Conway was responding to Romney’s Iowa campaign stop at Missouri Valley Steel in Sioux City, IA, where the Republican candidate talked jobs and the economy.

“One of Romney’s favorite things we’ve been hearing him say on the campaign trail is that his previous experience as a business executive in the private sector will give him an edge in creating jobs and fixing our country’s economic problems. We thought it would be helpful to take a closer look and set the record straight on Romney’s agenda for American workers,” Conway told reporters.

Romney and his business partners, who founded Bain Capital in 1984, acquired and merged steel companies and manufacturing plants in multiple industrial states. The USW experience with Bain Capital acquisitions, include the GS Industries (GSI) steel plant in Kansas City, MO, plus a paper plant in Marion, IN.

Conway said the GSI takeover by Bain Capital resulted in 700 steelworkers losing their jobs, health insurance, and a chunk of their hard-earned pensions.
He said that GS Industries was the tenth biggest Bain investment during Romney’s years as head of the private equity firm. Bain created GSI in the early 1990’s by spending $24 million to acquire and merge steel companies with plants in Missouri, South Carolina and other states.

“Company managers then cut jobs and benefits almost immediately, and according to our information, what happened down there and what we saw on the ground, Bain and other investors received management fees from GSI and a $65 million dividend in the first years following that acquisition.

“As a result of this deal, Bain partners, including Romney, doubled their money and they made $50 million off their initial $24 million investment. Then in 1999, as economic challenges in the steel industry continued to mount, GSI sought a federal loan guarantee that was intended to help steel companies compete internationally. The loan deal was approved, but in 2001, before it could be put to use, the company went bankrupt two years after Romney had left Bain.

“This is exactly what Romney and his business partners at Bain did best – they were corporate buyout specialists. They earned millions off of these deals. They cost a lot of Americans their jobs and they loaded these enterprises down with debt.”

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