Thursday, November 24, 2016

Critics say Wilbur Ross' restructuring of failing industries sometimes came at workers' expense

Admirers praise Wilbur Ross as “the king of bankruptcy," calling him a savior of failing U.S. industries.

But his critics have a different name for the 78-year-old investor said to be Donald Trump’s pick for Commerce secretary. They describe him as a “vulture,” and say his restructuring of ailing industries has sometimes come at the expense of workers’ safety — in one egregious case, contributing to the deaths of 12 miners in Sago, West Virginia.

Should Ross be nominated as Commerce secretary, some of those questionable practices are sure to be under a spotlight during his confirmation hearings, making him a complicated choice as the official in charge of promoting U.S. business abroad and defending U.S. trade laws. Also likely to get attention are his dizzying array of domestic and foreign investments and business dealings. Those include board positions on at least five major public companies and leadership in several private firms.

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