Online Staff Report
Friday, Aug. 10, workers facing outsourcing at the Bain Capital-owned Sensata Technologies plant in Freeport, Ill., will be joined by concerned community members in protesting U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., outside of Schilling’s fund-raiser at Forest Hills Country Club, 5135 Forest Hills Road, Loves Park, Ill.
Protesters will call out the two legislators for blocking the Bring Jobs Home Act, which would help prevent family-supporting American jobs — like those at Sensata — from being shipped overseas.
Sensata workers gathered more than 1,000 signatures on a petition addressed to Schilling in support of the Bring Jobs Home Act, and delivered them to Schilling in early July.
Despite overwhelming support for the bill among his constituents, Schilling voted against the measure — which would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas — when it came to a vote later that month.
Massachusetts-based Sensata Technologies has announced it plans to close the Freeport plant in December and outsource 170 jobs to China. Sensata workers are training their Chinese replacements, who have been flown to Illinois by the company.
Sensata was created by Bain Capital in 2006, and develops, manufactures and sells sensors and controls for major auto manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors.
Bain Capital is a private equity investment firm co-founded in 1984 by presumptive Republican nominee for President former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Romney served as CEO of the company from 1984 until 2002, according to SEC filings (Romney has repeatedly said he left the company in 1999).
Freeport City Council voted 8-0 July 16 to support a resolution to call on Romney to visit Freeport and help save the employees’ jobs.
Sensata workers have also kept the pressure on Romney with a signed letter to the campaign, frequent protests outside the plant and a community meeting to educate Freeport residents about the impending layoffs.
U.S. Reps. Don Manzullo, R-Ill., and Schilling sent a letter to Sensata CEO Thomas Wroe Jr. July 6 urging him to keep the jobs in Freeport.
“We know firsthand what it’s like to lose your job to China just because CEOs want to pad profits,” said Mark Shreck, Sensata employee. “Our families and our communities depend on these jobs. That’s why we’re going to hold our representatives in Congress accountable when they give tax breaks to companies that ship good, American jobs overseas instead of supporting workers here at home.”
Posted Aug. 8, 2012