The town of Freeport, Illinois is fighting back against vulture capitalists like Bain Capital who sweep into their hometowns, closing down family-supporting jobs and outsourcing them overseas, so they can pay slave labor wages and pocket the profits. All on the backs of American workers. The people of Freeport have organized an encampment across the street from Sensata (the company being closed down) to send a message to Bain and others like them that they will not lie down. The Overpass Light Brigade paid a visit to Bainport (as the encampment is being called) to spread the word about the community’s efforts and the destruction created by vulture capitalists like Bain.
Overpass Light Brigade is an activist collaborative public art project initiated by American artists Lane Hall and Lisa Moline, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The artwork is an episodic performance originally created as part of the 2011 Wisconsin protests to raise awareness about the campaign to recall Governor Scott Walker.
A group of Sensata workers whose jobs are being outsourced to China is touring the “rust belt.” Workers from Sensata have left Missouri and are stopping in Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, the presidential debate in Hempstead, NY — and are (eventually) heading toward Boston where both Bain Capital and the Romney headquarters are located. They want Romney and Bain to ask them not to send their jobs to China. You can read about their progress at BainWorkerBus.com. They are trying to make an election point. But what about the day after the election?
The Day After the Election, What Happens To Sensata-Style Workers?, by Dave Johnson reports on Sensata plant workers who are facing outsourcing by Bain Capital and who are camping outside the Sensata factory in Freeport, Ill: They are asking Mitt Romney to show up and help save their jobs. They say they will stay camped there until Romney shows up and stands with them – or with Bain. Mitt Romney can use this to show us if he wants to be president of the whole United States, or just president of, by and for the outsourcing 1 percenters. All Mitt has to do is show up and help these workers. He says he is not part of Bain, and wants to be President of all of the country. He could – and should – do that.
The thing is, these workers might be at this plant, run by this company, but there are millions of workers – millions – in the same boat. Or whose jobs have left or are leaving on the same boat, anyway.
So, what about the day after the election? Johnson warns: Instead of addressing jobs and inequality and wage stagnation and trade and climate and crumbling infrastructure and manufacturing policy and, and, and, they are going to all try to outdo each other offering ways to cut the things that We, the People do for each other — all to keep taxes low for the super-wealthy. Some call this the “Grand Bargain” where they offer up austerity — working so well in Europe — instead of jobs.
Sign the petition to stand with the Sensata workers here.