The workers at Sensata Technologies, who’ve established the tent city “Bainport” across the street from the Bain Capital majority-owned plant that is shutting down and shipping the 170 U.S. jobs to China, filed unfair labor practices charges Wednesday against Sensata.
The workers charge that the company has threatened to shut down the plant before its end-of-the-year scheduled closure if the workers continue to organize to stop the outsourcing of their jobs to China.
According to the workers’ press release, top Sensata management met with Freeport, Ill., officials this week.
Sensata management asked the Freeport Police Department to relay a message to employees that they would close the factory earlier than planned if employees continued to protest at the plant.
About half the workforce has been laid off and the remaining workers—many of whom were forced to train the workers from China who will take their jobs—are dismantling the plant’s equipment. Says Joanne Penniston:
Not only are they shipping our jobs to China, they are also trying to take away our rights as American workers. We are not going to be intimidated. We are going to stand up for our rights and our jobs.
Several times the workers have marched to the plant to demand meetings with management that have been denied. On Wednesday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. spoke at a Bainport rally and then, with several workers, marched to the plant where police arrested them for crossing the property line. (See more photos from Alison Pasek.)
The (Freeport) Rock River Times reports that the first charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board was for “increasing security and announcing a new policy, or a previously unenforced policy, prohibiting off-duty employees from entering work areas at non-work times, in response to and in retaliation for employees engaging in protected concerted activity,” while the second charge was for threatening to shut the plant down.
Since the workers set up the “Bainport” protest, they have urged Mitt Romney to meet with them and to use his influence with Bain—the outsourcing pioneer firm he co-founded—to keep the Sensata jobs in Freeport. He has refused.
Bain holds 51% of Sensata’s shares and Romney owns about $8 million worth of Bain funds. If Sensata earns profits from shipping the U.S. jobs overseas, so would Romney, the New York Times reported this summer.
On MSNBC's "The Ed Show," United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard told Ed Schultz that Sensata’s outsourcing of U.S. jobs “is the Bain model."
This is the Mitt Romney model when he says he is a job creator, he’s not. He is a wealth manipulator.