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Day 53 and it's coming down to the wire. Our lease with the Stephenson County Fairgrounds, where Bainport has been established, expires today at 4pm. We have been informed that our request for an extension has been denied.

In the last five months we have petitioned, protested and even taken 23 arrests to bring attention to the devastating effect that the vulture capitalists, Bain Capital and Sensata Technologies will have on our community though outsourcing our jobs. The economic impact will be a net loss, for our area, of just under 8 million dollars. Freeport can't afford this.

We firmly believe that it is our responsibility to our community to continue the fight for the 8 million dollars that Freeport desperately needs and that workers were promised. We will continue this fight.

The rub is that we know Sensata is making record profits. This is motivated by blind greed. Paying us the full, fair severance we were promised is a drop in the bucket to a billion dollar outfits like Bain and Sensata. But doing the right thing is not how it works in the global economy.

The vultures take our jobs, take our severance and leave our communities high and dry. That's how Mitt Romney does business.
We are having a community potluck today and discussing our options when they come to kick us out. Win or lose, go or stay, we are in this fight for the long term. The  thousands of Bainport supporters have shown us that we are standing for more than just our severance. We shall not be moved.
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For 33 years, I’ve been at Sensata Technologies. We make auto sensors for GM and Chrysler. So we’d like to think we know a good amount of history about the American automotive industry.

So when the auto industry becomes political fodder, my co-workers and I pay attention.

In Ohio, the Romney Campaign is blasting television and radio ads suggesting that Chrysler and GM “are shipping jobs to China.”  

In an editorial on Monday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer rebuked Romney’s ads, stating that the additional Jeep manufacturing jobs in China—meant to provide local Chinese populations with Jeep-branded cars—is a “sign of Chrysler's health, not of some sinister intentions by its management.”

“The company is investing $500 million and hiring 1,100 workers at its Toledo Jeep plant. The day Romney misspoke, Chrysler announced plans to add 1,100 employees in Detroit, too,” said the Plain Dealer.

But if you want to know the real fact-check on these ads, you don’t need to look much further than Sensata if you want to know the real truth about American auto jobs.

Make no doubt about it: Jeep is a success because Barack Obama saved the American auto industry. And by doing so, he also saved companies like Sensata. Without any American cars to build, there’d be no need for American auto sensors.

Now, Sensata is a very profitable company. In fact, since Mitt Romney's Bain Capital bought Sensata, Sensata shareholders (including Romney himself) have quadrupled their initial investments.

But that’s not enough for Bain, because they’re shipping our jobs to China. I, myself, am losing my job on Monday, the day before Election Day.

In that very same Plain Dealer editorial, which describes Romney “recklessly” addressing a large audience on how Chrysler’s owners “were planning to move all Jeep production to China,” it’s mentioned that Romney “pledged to keep American jobs in America, if elected."

How can he pledge to keep jobs in America when he hasn't lifted a finger to stop Bain Capital from sending my job to China?

The job losses at Sensata have emerged as a huge controversy on Romney’s ties to China. Mitt stands to profit from the outsourcing of our jobs through the stock he still owns in the company. His 2011 tax returns show that he got a huge tax break by moving Sensata stock to a foundation that he controls, and he continues to profit from Bain’s offshore holdings and tax avoidance strategies.

Time and time again, we’ve asked Mitt to prove his job creation claims by helping to save our jobs from being outsourced to China.

And why wouldn’t he be able to help us? He’s a huge investor in Sensata, and a simple call would go a long way to helping "to keep American jobs in America."

But he refuses to do anything.

We're learning time and time again that we can't take Mitt at his word. And as we've learned here at Sensata, it's not a mistake that our country can afford to make.

Not only is Mitt lying about which candidate keeps jobs here in America, but he won't even live up to a pledge that he made—in fact, the pledge that he bases his entire candidacy on—when attacking the President on a falsehood. And that's a disgrace.

Discuss

It’s about to get a little intense here at Bainport.

This morning, we filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against our Bain Capital-owned employer, Sensata Technologies.

Yesterday, we heard that they’re threatening to shut down our Freeport plant immediately—and for good—if we continue to organize against the outsourcing of our jobs to China.

It sounds to me like someone wants this story to go away.

And why not? Sensata has emerged as a huge controversy over Mitt Romney’s ties to China. Not only does Romney stand to profit from the outsourcing of these jobs through the stock he still owns in the company, but his 2011 tax returns show that he got a huge tax break by moving Sensata stock to a foundation that he controls—and that he continues to profit from Bain’s offshore holdings and tax avoidance strategies.

Time and time again, we’ve asked Mitt to prove his job creation claims by helping save our jobs from being outsourced to China.

But despite these threats, we’re not slowing down. In fact, any minute, Rev. Jesse Jackson is arriving back in “Bainport”—the county fairgrounds across the street from Sensata that we’ve been calling home for the last month—and he’ll be joined by religious and labor leaders for another huge event today.

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SECOND UPDATE: 4:29 PM CDT: We're back and taking your questions for a little longer. Then we'll be live on MSNBC's Ed Show tonight! Thanks!

EARLIER: 1:59 PM CDT: Hi all - I'm sorry to have to do this but we just got word that they're shutting the plant down out of "fear." We don't know what they're afraid of, exactly.

We're going to find out what's going on, but I will be back to answer questions later.



The day before Election Day will be my last day of work at Sensata Technologies, a Bain Capital-owned company. And on Election Day, I'm going to get up, I'm going to go to the polls, and then I will go and sign up for unemployment compensation for the first time in my life.

Hi all. I'm Tom Gaulrapp, and I've worked at the Sensata plant across the street from where I type this for 33 years.

On behalf of all of the Sensata workers here in Freeport, Illinois, I wanted to thank the Daily Kos community for your role in making our situation one of the most-talked-about stories on the Internet. It's led to live coverage on CNN, MSNBC, and tonight, the Ed Show is broadcasting live from Bainport.

We're in Day 37 here, and we'™re not going away. We'™ve had people from all over the world come and join us, and what your community has helped to make possible is keeping the momentum going.

I want to hear from you. What's on your mind when it comes to our situation? Do you have any questions for the workers and I? Any specifics that you want us to share?

Ask in the comments section below.

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