Romney's sweatshops
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

While CEO of Bain Capital, former Gov. Mitt Romney knowingly invested in a brutal Chinese sweatshop, which he described in detail at the same Boca Raton, Fla., fundraising event where he made his 47 percent comment. At its peak, Romney and his Brookside Capital Partners Fund invested $23 million in the Global-Tech sweatshop in Dongguan, China, which he personally visited.

A new report by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights documents the Chinese workers' low pay and abysmal living conditions at the Global-Tech appliance factory at the time Romney, et al., were substantially invested in the company.

If Romney had spoken up, conditions at Global-Tech might be far better today. Sadly, in 2012, Global-Tech remains a brutal sweatshop, where workers are paid starvation wages of $1 an hour and have no rights. Today at Global-Tech, every single labor law in China is violated: Primitive, filthy dorm conditions are the norm; routine 16-hour shifts prevail, along with grueling 105- to 112-hour, seven-day work weeks.

Eight hundred student interns — many exhausted children, just 16 years old — are forced to work the grueling 16-hour shifts with no overtime pay.

Gene Ulmer

Salt Lake City