Bainport to Romney: Save Our Jobs!
October 16, 2012 7:16 am
Over the past week, an encampment of outsourced Sensata Technologies workers in Freeport, IL has drawn the attention of Democrats and Republicans focused on the economic policies of presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The encampment, dubbed “Bainport,” has been the subject of much speculation on tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs as well as Romney’s ties to the ruthless profiteers at Bain.
The facts are as follows: in 2006, Romney-founded Bain Capital purchased Freeport, IL based Sensata Technologies, a company that makes automobile sensors. Earlier this year, 165 Sensata employees were told that their jobs were being outsourced to China. Since then, shockingly, the workers have been forced to train their Chinese replacements.
Workers, painfully aware of the effect of Bain’s leveraged buyout and “harvesting” of companies, established a protest encampment over 35 days ago. Though Romney is no longer involved in or working with Bain Capital in an official capacity, he still profits from Bain’s business.
The workers at “Bainport” are calling on the candidate — whose campaign has been peppered with rhetoric about getting tough on China — to speak up and save their jobs. Equipment is currently being moved out of the Freeport, IL plant, and several workers have been arrested for attempting to block the trucks that are transporting machinery headed for China.
Dave Johnson comments on the Bainport workers’ call to Romney in Huffington Post:
This is an opportunity for Romney to show the public that he actually means it when he says he wants to do something about companies sending jobs to China! Here is his former company, people who know him, sending jobs to China right now and there is no one in a better position to put pressure on them to stop this than the former head of the company, and on top of that a presidential candidate!
Bainport has now become a requisite publicity stop for sitting Democratic politicians and their challengers. The encampment, regardless of its (in)ability to attract Romney’s attention, does provide a tangible example of the system that made the candidate a billionaire.
Sensata employee Tom Gaulrapp speaks to the Journal Standard:
We don’t deserve to be treated like dirt. We just want people to understand, that this is the future unless we stop it.
Image from here