California Democrat Rep. Jane Harman's family business is laying off American workers - including engineering employees in California - and shifting jobs overseas.
A letter from the human resources director of one Harman company, obtained exclusively by The American Spectator, describes a "permanent" layoff of dozens of California workers that went into effect last week.
"I am writing to inform you that Harman Consumer, Inc. has decided to consolidate their global engineering operations located at 8500 Balboa Boulevard, Northridge, California 91329, to Shenzhen, China," Sandra Buchanan wrote in the letter dated July 20. "The separation is expected to be on September 30, 2010 and will affect forty-eight (48) employees. . . . The layoffs are expected to be permanent . . . ."
Harman is the third-richest member of Congress, and her net worth increased last year $40 million, according to a study of Federal Election Commission records conducted by The Hill newspaper. Her husband, Sidney Harman, founded Harman International Industries, which was valued in 2007 at about $8 billion.
By May 2009, the company had already slashed its U.S. workforce by 900 and expected to make more than a thousand more layoffs by mid-2010, according to a Saturday Evening Post article that noted: "[W]hile shutting down U.S. facilities, Harman was simultaneously opening factories in China and India, as well as massive multimedia outlets in Dubai and New Delhi."
Sidney Harman recently purchased Newsweek magazine. His wife is seeking re-election in California's 36th District, which has been hit hard by the current recession. Mrs. Harman's Republican challenger, Mattie Fein, has been harshly critical of the incumbent's record on economic issues. One of the main newspapers in the district, the Torrance Daily Breeze, has said it is "not interested" in covering the GOP candidate.