In recent years, Mr. Romney has acknowledged having second thoughts about some of the deals he drove, saying his post-Bain career in government had sensitized him to the consequences of his decisions as a businessman…
Cost-cutting became a mantra inside the company. After his employer, DuPont, was bought by Dade, William T. Mowrey, a field engineer, said his generous pension plan was replaced by a 401(k) retirement plan; his salary was cut by $1 an hour, costing him $2,000 a year in income. When he filed for overtime, he said, his new bosses refused to pay it. “They were just trying to milk as much out of us as they could,” he said.
Mr. Mowrey, now 54, quit. Many workers, like Mr. Shoemaker, the Dade employee in Westwood, and his wife, a temporary employee at the same plant, did not leave on their own terms. When they lost their jobs in 1997, they had to abandon plans to buy their first home together. “It created a lot of stress,” said Mr. Shoemaker, 59, who had earned more than $80,000 a year.
For some, the emotional effects of the layoffs outweighed the financial repercussions. Soon after Dade bought the DuPont unit, it closed a plant in Puerto Rico; all but a few of its nearly 300 workers were laid off.
Arsenio Muñiz Rosado, a father of three who had spent 23 years at the plant, starting out as a groundskeeper and moving inside to handle hazardous waste, sank into a debilitating depression. Still jobless six months after he was let go at age 51, he tried to commit suicide with a bottle full of Xanax pills, the first of several attempts.