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article imageOp-Ed: Host of Romney fundraiser left unemployed 'victims' in his wake

By Ken Wightman     Sep 19, 2012 in Politics
London - I don't know if out-of-work Americans believe they are victims but I do know there are out-of-work Canadians who believe they are victims: Victims of an economic system supported by Mitt Romney and some of his business cronies.
When I read that the recent Mitt Romney video was shot in the home of Marc Leder, I thought immediately, "I know that name."
Marc Leder was the subject of an article in my hometown newspaper, The London Free Press, and I wrote about Leder in a blog post. Leder is a co-founder of Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm that has bought and closed possibly four plants in the London, Ontario, area in just four years. The following was gleaned from The London Free Press and the Welland Tribune:
- In 2007, Sun Capital Partners closed McCormicks, the London, Ontario, cookie and candy factory, cutting 275 jobs, denying workers severance, vacation pay and pensions.
- McCormicks workers fought two years in court to win vacation pay and had to pay their legal bills from the winnings.
- One 48-year employee now earns a pension of $300 a month.
- In 2008, Sun Capital Partners closed H.J. Jones in London while denying severance. Employees had to fight to get a deal paying them half of what they were owed.
- In 2008, Sun Capital Partners was involved in the closing of the CanGro Foods in St. Davids, an Ontario canning plant and the last remaining fruit canning plant in all of North America east of the Rockies. The plant had been in operation for more than 100 years.
- In 2008, Sun Capital Partners was involved in the closing of the CanGro Foods canning plant in Exeter, Ontario. The closing of the two canning operations resulted in the loss of 268 hourly and 27 salaried positions as well as all seasonal positions.
- In 2011, Sun Capital Partners closed Specialized Packaging Group in London. (No details concerning the severance packages available at the time of publication.)
The Huffington Post is reporting:
Around 20 percent of companies that Sun Capital owns have filed for bankruptcy since 2008: 28 companies in all, including the restaurant chain Friendly's, according to The New York Times. Friendly's laid off 1,260 workers overnight when it filed for bankruptcy last year, according to Daily Finance.
According to The Palm Beach Post, when Lisa Leder filed for divorce she claimed her husband, Marc, was worth more than $400 million. He denied the figure.
The couple did agree on one thing: They enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle with a 15,000-square-foot home near Boca Raton, a vacation retreat in Stowe, Vt. and six vehicles including an Aston Martin DB9 convertible, a Bentley Continental convertible, a Cadillac Escalade and a Lexus LS. They traveled by private jet.
Well, Lisa enjoyed it. Marc worked. In court papers she claimed she had been essentially a single parent as her husband devoted long hours to his business.
Thanks to an article in the New York Post, Leder is known for more than his hard work. He is also known for his hard partying. In a story headlined "Nude Frolic in Tycoon’s Pool" the paper reported on the shenanigans at his summer parties held at a home he rented in Bridgehampton, N.Y.:
It was as if the Playboy Mansion met the East End at a wild party at private-equity titan Marc Leder’s Bridgehampton estate, where guests cavorted nude in the pool and performed sex acts, scantily dressed Russians danced on platforms and men twirled lit torches to a booming techno beat.
Romney may well be right. There probably are Americans who see themselves as victims. Some may have worked for one of the now bankrupt companies once controlled by the host of that now infamous Florida fundraiser gone so wildly awry.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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