Romney no friend of working people

BOSTON – The Republican Party is pulling out all the stops in an effort to elect Mitt Romney as Massachusetts governor. Within a two-week period, both President George W. Bush and his father have made campaign appearances.

At a Romney campaign luncheon on Oct. 4, about 600 protested the president’s appearance and a couple of thousand more showed up after work to continue the protest.

Romney has been trying to appeal to the working-class vote by appearing in television ads “working” on a highway construction project and talking about having to take a job as a security guard while in college.

State Democratic Party chair, Phillip Johnston, said that Romney is “a wealthy, privileged guy who ought to admit it.”

Lou Mandarini, president of the Greater Boston Central Labor Council, said that Romney holds “himself up as a friend of working people.” Mandarini continued, “I tell you, he’s no friend. We know who our friends are.”

In Romney’s 1994 Senate bid, he was ahead in the polls until striking workers from a paper company owned by Romney came to Massachusetts to tell their story.

Romney’s Boston-based company, Bain Capital, bought the Marion, Ind. Ampad Corporation, fired the 350 employees, then offered them their jobs back with less pay and benefits. Five Ampad workers, members of the United Paperworkers International Union, formed the “Truth Squad” and toured Massachusetts with their story.

Romney was further hurt when it was revealed that Staples, the office supply superstores founded by Romney, had a preference for hiring part-time workers in order to avoid giving employees health insurance benefits.