FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2012
Sensata Closes Plant for Weekend as Outsourcing Protests Against Bain Capital-owned Company Grow
Workers and Community Supporters Continue Call for Full and Fair Severance
Freeport, IL – Today Sensata workers were told by management that the plant would be shut down for the weekend, marking the second weekend in a row that the factory has stopped production.
The weekend shutdown comes after workers walked off the job yesterday in protest of repeated threats against and harassment of employees by Sensata management. Fourteen protesters were arrested during a march on the plant on Wednesday, which included the arrests of Rev. Jesse Jackson, local labor leaders and three workers. A big rally is planned for tomorrow, with UAW president Bob King visiting the “Bainport” encampment to show his support for the works.
The Freeport workers filed two unfair labor practice charges against the company with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Wednesday for cracking down on protected concerted activity and threatening to close the plant early if workers continued to protest. Following through on that threat, yesterday Sensata circulated a memo stating that employees could leave with pay if they felt threatened by the protests—which would effectively shut down the plant immediately if employees opt to stop working.
“This weekend shutdown is part of Sensata’s continued threat to shut down the plant early if we continued to protest,” said Sensata worker Tom Gaulrapp. “They claim that the protests create ‘a stressful work environment.’ But what’s more stressful than having your job shipped to China and finding yourself unemployed?”