Bain Capitol closing Plant in Freeport IL Romney is shareholder
What started as a modest protest of Bain Capital’s role in the ongoing layoffs at the Freeport Sensata plant may eventually grow into a full-fledged grass-roots effort to give displaced local workers a voice.
Cheryl Randecker of Freeport is one of the Sensata workers who organized the recent Bain Capital protest, which took place outside the Sensata Technologies/Honeywell plant in Freeport this past Monday.
Randecker is hoping to team up with her fellow workers and other like-minded citizens to continue to protest the layoffs and to urge the passage of federal legislation that would curb the outsourcing of U.S. jobs. This legislation, known as the Bring Jobs Home Act, is currently being debated in Congress.
“Somebody has to take a stand here,” said Randecker, an Associate Production Level 2 employee at the local Sensata plant. “We need jobs with benefits. The companies need to stop being so greedy and look out for the people.”
Randecker is one of an estimated 170 local Sensata employees who will be laid off by the end of this year.
In early 2011, Sensata announced it would be closing its local plant by the end of 2012, and relocating the jobs there to a plant in China. Normal operations will continue at the Freeport plant until then, but roughly 170 jobs are being phased out gradually. Sensata is a maker of sensors and controls that are used in aircraft, automobiles, and electric motors.
Bain Capital Protest
Recently, it was revealed that Sensata is owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helped start. On Monday, June 18, while Romney was campaigning in Wisconsin, Randecker and over a dozen of her fellow workers staged a protest urging Romney to visit Freeport to see firsthand how companies are “killing jobs and sending them overseas,” states a news release from Stand Up! Chicago, a labor coalition that supports Randecker’s cause.
Randecker said her group may hold additional protests in the future and is working to urge Congress to pass the Bring Jobs Home Act. This legislation would give eligible firms a tax credit to relocate outsourced jobs back to the U.S.
“With the people backing up our issue with Sensata, we’re hoping it will snowball,” Randecker said. “It might be too late for me and my job, but not for my kids.”
Randecker, a single parent, said she plans to return to college and get a degree. She has worked for Honeywell and Sensata for a combined total of 33 years.
Sensata officials were unavailable for comment for this story.
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