A chief steel union negotiator who represented workers at a steel plant owned by Bain Capital said the way Mitt Romney saddled the plant with debt, took the profits and closed the plant attests to Romney’s character.
“It shows a man who believes in one set of rules for the rich and privileged and another set of rules for the rest of us,” said David Foster, who grew up in Mankato and spent more than 30 years in the Minnesota steel industry.
Foster was in Mankato Tuesday to kick off a statewide Obama campaign event called the “Made in Minnesota” tour.
Foster said Bain Capital, of which Romney was CEO, loaded the struggling steel plant with “unconscionable” debt of some $500 million and used the borrowed money to pay Bain “more than 150 percent more than they put into it,” before closing the plant and eliminating 750 jobs.
“I had to stand in front of hundreds of workers ... and tell them that all they had worked for all their lives was gone. No one from Bain was there.”
Romney has said he was on leave when the GST Steel plant was closed.
Romney’s campaign recently released a letter from the former CEO of GST, absolving Romney of any responsibility for the plant's closing.
“The plant did not close because of Mitt Romney,” former CEO Mark Essig wrote.
“The plant closed because we could not compete with the flood of cheap foreign steel pouring into the United States ... It saddens me that the pain and suffering of so many resulting from the closure of the plant have been twisted to serve someone's political purpose.”