Bain-owned Sensata threatened to retaliate and immediately close their Freeport, Ill plant if workers there don’t stop protesting the outsourcing of their jobs to China. Retaliation threats happen to be illegal. The workers have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Threats Of Retaliation
The story is up at Bainport.com. For some background, Bainport is named for Bain Capital which owns Sensata, and Freeport, Ill, the town where Sensata is closing a factory and sending all the equipment and jobs to China. The workers and supporters have set up a tent camp across from the factory and are asking Bain’s former owner Mitt Romney to come and help. Bain Capital + laying off workers in Freeport = Bainport.
Monday: Rally and march on Sensata: Freeport Journal-Standard, Jesse Jackson speaks to Sensata protesters,
Civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson spoke to a spirited crowd at the “Bainport” encampment in Freeport on Monday. Jackson stressed to the workers that Sensata is “foreign policy for the greedy” and told workers that they deserved a full severance package from the plant.
After Jackson’s speech he led protestors across the street to the lobby of Sensata, where in recent weeks nine protestors had been arrested. The crowd chanted “full severance now” and “save our plants, save our jobs” as they converged on the lobby.
Once inside the lobby, Jackson spoke by phone with security asking for entry and full severance for the workers. After being denied access to the building, police arrived on the scene and asked protesters to leave the grounds. No arrests were made.
Posted last night: Breaking News! Sensata Threatens to Close Plant Immediately
Sensata has sent word that if we continue fighting to save our jobs they will close the plant.
Mayor George Gaulrapp and the Freeport Chief of Police have passed along news from Sensata management — who were in town today from their headquarters in Attleboro, Massachusetts — that if anyone else stands up and commits any further civil disobedience, the Sensata plant in Freeport, Illinois will close the plant immediately and for good.
… It is disgraceful that Sensata would threaten and intimidate us with plant closure in response to our request for fair treatment. This is a clear example of the cutthroat nature of the Bain economic model. Not only will Bain outsource your jobs, they want you to smile and thank them for it.
Reaction. From a press release posted at Bainport.com:
Bain-owned Sensata Charged with Labor Violations for Threatening, Retaliating Against Employees
NLRB Charges Filed as Company Threatens to Shut Down Plant Early if Protests Continue
Unfair labor practice charges against Sensata Technologies were filed with the National Labor Relations Board this morning after the Bain-owned company threatened to shut their Freeport plant down immediately if its employees continued to organize to stop the outsourcing of their jobs to China.
The Sensata workers were shocked to hear yesterday that Sensata management asked the Freeport Police to relay a message to employees that they would close the factory earlier than planned if employees continued to protest at the plant. The plant is scheduled to be shut down in December, with the jobs and equipment shipped to a new plant in China.
“Not only are they shipping our jobs to China, they are also trying to take away our rights as American workers,” said Joanne Penniston. “We are not going to be intimidated. We are going to stand up for our rights and our jobs.”
Nine people have been arrested for protesting at the plant so far, and the protests show no sign of slowing down. Rev. Jesse Jackson will be joined by religious and labor leaders for another protest at the plant later today.
The Sensata Story Is Our Story
The Sensata story is the story of the devastation that the WalMart and Bain Capital business models have done to our wages & benefits, economy and entire regions of our country. Just drive around Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and other manufacturing regions and you see the boarded up houses, the wiped-out downtowns…
The WalMart/Bain Capital business model is to use “trade” treaties to escape the borders of democracy. When people have a say they say they want good wages, benefits, a clean environment, safety on the job — things like that. And we make laws that say if you have a business here you have to meet certain standards, not commit fraud, not harm workers, not pollute, etc.
In places where people don’t have a say they are told they can’t have good jobs, benefits, safety standards, etc. That makes them “business-friendly.” The Bains and WalMarts take advantage of this, and move our jobs and factories there.
And then the WalMarts and Bains use the money they make from this to undermine our democracy here at home. They say the solution is for us to become more “business-friendly” by lowering the taxes that support our schools and services, breaking unions, allowing pollution and otherwise undermining our rights and paths to prosperity.
We must stop allowing the Bains and WalMarts to become fabulously wealthy from sending our jobs to China and using that money they make to undermine our own way of life here at home — our home.