On October 2, employees blocked the driveways and loading dock at Sensata Technologies to prevent trucks from carting plant equipment away. “All of us here believe that the equipment should not be moved out, that the jobs need to stay here,” said supporter Debbie Kempel when interviewed by WTVO, Rockford, IL.
This is the latest in a series of actions by Sensata workers in Freeport, IL since hearing about Sensata’s plans to outsource 200 jobs to China by the end of this year. On September 12, protesters set up tents across the street from the plant, and named their encampment Bainport, Illinois. Sensata workers have also set up a petition for supporters to sign, and taken their activism on the road with the Bain Workers Bus Tour, a coalition of progressives and workers from companies owned by Bain Capital.
You can see a video with news footage from WIFR, Rockford, IL below:
The protesters arrived at 6:00 a.m. According to the Bainport, Illinois encampment’s Tumblr blog, one moving truck “snuck in another entrance,” but the workers blocked the truck from leaving, forcing the driver to cool his heels until the police eventually arrived. When stopped at the plant’s entrance, the driver of a second truck “decided to just drive away.” When the police arrived at 2:00 p.m., Sensata’s employees and supporters left peacefully, but said they would return.
Sensata employee Tom Gaulrapp added, “It sinks it in even deeper because, you know, even though we can’t see what’s going on the other side of those trucks, we know what’s going on. And they’re loading up pieces of equipment that people have run in that plant for years and years and years, and they’re sending them up to China.”