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PORTSIDELABOR  July 2012, Week 1

PORTSIDELABOR July 2012, Week 1

Subject:

Plant Workers Fight Bain On Job Outsourcing

From:

Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 4 Jul 2012 21:42:28 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (108 lines)

TUESDAY, JUL 3, 2012 * 1:03 PM
Plant Workers Fight Bain On Job Outsourcing
BY WILLIAM LINEBERRY
http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/13483/plant_workers_fight_bain_from_outsourcing_jobs/

A manufacturing and developing plant in Freeport, Ill.,
which is owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney co-founded
and was CEO of until 1999, is planning on outsourcing
150 full-time positions to China. 

Many workers at the Sensata Technologies plant--along
with community organizers, religious leaders and labor
leaders from around the state--have began speaking out,
urging the company to reconsider.

"This area is hurting already," George Benson, president
of the Freeport chapter of the NAACP, said. "The
unemployment rate is already above the state average.
This is just a move by some rich folks to make more
money, to become richer. They are sending these
experienced workers' jobs overseas just for money. They
just keep lining their pockets. This just isn't in
Freeport, this is all over. We have to stand against it.
It's a big fight. But it's an important fight worth
being in."

The employees--who manufacture sensors that are sold to
auto manufactures--were told in early 2011 that the plant
would be closing in December 2012. They are currently
training their Chinese replacements, who have been flown
in by Bain to the Illinois plant. "This just adds insult
to injury," said Cheryl Randecker, a Sensata employee.
"They're going to be here three months and they're not
going to leave knowing everything they need to know."

Last week, workers from the Sensata plant staged a
protest outside of the plant against the outsourcing.
Many of the workers also staged a protest on June 18
where they urged Romney, who was in nearby Wisconsin, to
come to Freeport and learn how the outsourcing would
adversely affect the community. Workers from the plant
are currently writing Romney a letter in which they ask
him to intervene and stop the outsourcing of their jobs.
The workers are planning an action for July 8 that will
take place at the plant. No further mention of what the
action would entail was mentioned, but the workers have
requested that multiple labor and community coalitions
from around the state come in solidarity.

Though Rommey hasn't worked for Bain in more than a
decade, the workers and their supporters say that he
still is making money from the private equity firm that
is outsourcing the Sensata jobs. 

"We've seen how destructive outsourcing is to
communities," Carl Rosen, president of the western
region of the United Electric union, said in a
conference call. "When corporations pick up and leave
they leave areas like Freeport hurting. When the jobs
end up in China, often times the workers there are
exploited very badly. It (outsourcing) is a race to the
bottom. Romney says he wants to save small town America,
but yet a company he helped found is destroying a small
town in America and he's going to make money off of it.
These workers and their families are being dropped on
the street so Bain Capital and Romney can make a few
more dollars."

Randecker, an employee of Sensata for 33 years and one
of the key organizers against the outsourcing, said her
life has been turned upside down.

"Everything has changed," Randecker said. "I'm five
months away from unemployment. I'm a single parent with
a daughter. I don't worry about myself as much as I do
her now. I was able to send her to a good four-year
university because I had a good job. After I found out I
was going to lose my job, I had to tell her I couldn't
afford to pay for her school anymore. She had to move
back home and enroll in a community college in Freeport
because I wasn't going to be able to afford her school
without my job."

According to the employees and community organizers
speaking during the conference call, Sensata reported $2
billion net revenue last year. "How can they make so
much money, and still want to cut costs by outsourcing
jobs like the ones in Freeport?" Rosen asks.

____________________________________________

PortsideLabor aims to provide material of interest to
people on the left that will help them to interpret the
world and to change it.

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