Hartford, CT — New information emerged about Tom Foley’s business dealings — and they go far beyond his record driving the Bibb Co. into bankruptcy and laying off workers.
As the head of T.B. Wood’s Co. in Pennsylvania, Tom Foley personally made nearly $40 million after an almost three-year strike by workers seeking decent wages.
When asked this morning about the sale, Tom Foley could not recall how many millions of dollars he personally profited off the back of workers.
According to recently unearthed reports from two decades ago, workers went bankrupt, families lost homes, and marriages were torn apart as employees fought for better rights. While families suffered, Tom Foley, as the head of the company, ultimately walked away with tens of millions of dollars.
The company in question — T.B. Wood’s Co. — had been family-owned since 1857. According to reports, it was a pleasant place. The company sponsored softball and bowling teams and management consisted of people who had worked their way up through the organization.
Then, in 1986, Foley bought it and experienced personnel were replaced. Reports say because of bad management, morale plummeted during the years he led the company.
So, workers voted to go on strike — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for nearly three years. It was described as “devastating”. They had to “help one another with money, food and clothes” just to get by.
Because of Foley, families suffered. Some “lost their homes, declared bankruptcy or separated from their wives in cases where the husband wanted to stick with the strike and the wife wanted him to cross the picket line.”
What happened to the owner? After bundling money for President George W. Bush, he was given an ambassadorship in return, and Foley sold his shares for nearly $40 million.
“Tom Foley likes to talk about his business record, well here it is. Workers suffered, while he walked away with nearly $40 million. We saw his attitude in Sprague, we know he’s called for a ‘Wisconsin Moment’ for workers in our state, and we know he’s laid off hundreds of honest employees at Bibb to make millions in profit. Well, this is a new, major part of Tom Foley’s record — and it shows you he does not stand with middle-class families,” said Lori Pelletier, Connecticut AFL-CIO Executive Secretary. “This is a reflection of his priorities — it shows us how Tom Foley would govern. He would turn back the clock on middle-class families, and we cannot stand for it.”
“We have a choice this November. We can either go forward with progress, or go backwards by driving the middle class into a ditch. This is simple. Families went into bankruptcy because of Tom Foley — and he walked away with nearly $40 million personally. If people want to know how he would govern, just look at his record,” said Julie Kushner, Director of UAW Region 9A. “Tom Foley does not care about you, or me, or any working families just trying to make ends meet. What he’s done his whole career is exploit workers for his personal profit — and that makes him a risk Connecticut cannot afford.”
Thomas Foley, The Largest Stockholder Of TB Wood’s, Will Tender 1.6 Million Shares, Representing About 42.4 Percent Of The Company’s Outstanding Shares. “Altra Holdings Inc., maker of braking systems for elevators and wheelchairs, said Monday it will buy TB Wood’s Corp., which makes power transmission devices, for $24.80 per share. Altra, which went public in December, said the boards of both companies approved the deal valued at about $92 million ) and the tender offer for TB shares is expected to close in April. Thomas Foley, the largest stockholder of TB Wood’s, will tender 1.6 million shares, representing about 42.4 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, Altra said. Altra expects the deal to increase earnings in 2007 and to add 15 to 20 cents per share in 2008 and 2009.” [Associated Press, 02/20/07]
TheIrish Times: “The US Ambassador To Ireland, Thomas Foley, Is To Realise Almost $40 Million (EUR 30.5 Million) From The Acquisition Of The Majority Of His Holding In A Power Transmission Device Manufacturer, TB Woods.” “The US ambassador to Ireland, Thomas Foley, is to realise almost $40 million (EUR 30.5 million) from the acquisition of the majority of his holding in a power transmission device manufacturer, TB Woods. The Pennsylvania-headquartered company is being acquired for more than $94 million by a competitor, Altra. Mr Foley, who is the single largest shareholder in TB Woods, was its chairman until he resigned his position to take up his ambassadorial position in Ireland last October. He has agreed to sell 1.6 million shares in TB Woods to Altra at $24.80 per share. He holds more than 1.8 million shares in the company, representing more than 45 per cent of its equity.” [The Irish Times, 03/07/07]