‘Bainport’ welcomes United Steelworkers president Oct. 31 for rally in support of Sensata workers
Online Staff Report
FREEPORT, Ill. — Wednesday, Oct. 31, United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard will visit Bainport in Freeport, Ill., to rally with Sensata Technologies workers fighting to save their jobs from outsourcing to China by Bain. Gerard will participate in a 7 p.m. rally.
“President Gerard has been a vocal supporter of the fight to save our jobs since the very beginning,” said Tom Gaulrapp, a 33-year Sensata employee. “We’re delighted to welcome him to Bainport in person on Wednesday, and our message will be clear: Romney’s cut-and-run economic model isn’t working for Freeport, and it won’t work for America.”
Sensata has emerged as a flashpoint in the controversy over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s ties to Bain in the lead up to Election Day, with the company’s employees pleading publicly with Romney to help save their jobs from being outsourced to China.
In September, the workers began to camp outside the plant to protest Bain’s decision to ship their jobs to China and increase the pressure on Romney — who still profits directly from Sensata — to help save their jobs.
The workers have previously welcomed former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, the Rev. Al Sharpton, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the Rev. Jesse Jackson, United Auto Workers President Bob King, Service Employees International Union President, Mary Kay Henry and Bain workers from France to their encampment.
As Romney refuses to intervene, the workers are mobilizing to win a full severance with petitions and sit-ins at company headquarters. Employees who have been at the plant for 20, 30, and even 40-plus years are only getting 26 weeks’ pay as a severance from Bain-owned Sensata.
Bain Capital-owned Sensata plans to close the Freeport plant in December and outsource the plant’s 170 jobs to China. Workers at the plant have been training their Chinese replacements, who have been flown to Illinois by the company.
Created by Bain in 2006, Sensata develops, manufactures, and sells sensors and controls for major auto manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors.
According to SEC filings, Romney served as CEO of the private equity investment firm Bain Capital from its founding in 1984 until 2002. Romney, however, has repeatedly said he left the company in 1999.
“Bainport” is at Stephenson County Fairgrounds, 2250 S. Walnut Road, Freeport, Ill.
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Posted Oct. 30, 2012