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Welcome to Bainport, across the road from the Sensata factory in Freeport, Illinois
Awesome photography courtesy of badscience
Sensata closed the plant for a full day on Friday and barricaded the road in to avoid more publicity as a national TV program came to town.  Workers about to lose their jobs lost a full days pay.
Another appropriate display at Bainport  Pumpkins from Left to Right:  47%, BAINPORT, Sensata.  Mitts Harvest pumpin to the far right didn't show up in the picture.
Yesterday the Overpass Light Brigade took a 2 1/2 hour road trip to Freeport, Illinois to again show solidarity with the workers losing their jobs because of the unquenchable greed of Mitt Romney and Bain, which owns 51% of Sensata.
OLB holding letters above a fence surrounding the Bainport encampment
I had to go.  I had to drive the 2 1/2 hours.  I had to do it because I was unhappy that President Obama had at least 3 opportunities to bring up what Bain was doing at Sensata during the debate, but didn't.  I don't get mad, I get active.   OLB had an event planned for Friday which was perfect.

It was amazing to have coincidentally met up with noise of rain on the highway so I could follow him and not get lost (he even waited for me after I got caught in a line of cars at the toll booth).   I have no sense of direction and even GPS fails sometimes, so this was perfect.

But this isn't what I want to talk about.   I want to talk about Sensata.  And so did Ed Schultz.

The Freeport Sensata plant made $500 million in profits for the company, but that's not enough for the greedy so they're moving production to China.  Sensata workers earn a decent middle class wage of about $17/per hour.  The new Chinese workers will earn less than a dollar an hour, work 12 hour shift with about one day off per month, and get housed in dormatories on the factory grounds.

After Bain bought control of Sensata, they met with the workers and told them that the factory was moving and the machinery they used (to make sensors used in US automobiles), but the workers losing their jobs were forced to train the Chinese workers who were taking their jobs.

Remember what Mitt Romney said as he discussed with excitement and envy over the conditions at a Chinese factory he visited:

You can almost hear him drooling over the exploitation of the workers at the factory Bain was buying.   Like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, Mitt Romney doesn't have a heart, but unlike the Tin Man, he doesn't want one.  To an oligarch, humanity, empathy, and compassion are only for the little people.  

Bain is continuing to make even more profits from what is, essentially, slave labor.  Worse yet, they're being rewarded with tax breaks for their "expenses" in moving factories to countries that allow them to exploit their people.

The Ed Show on MSNBC also took a road trip yesterday, filming from Bainport.  

The Ed Show Set Up at Bainport before the show
Big Ed getting ready for the show
OLB, holding our signs up above a fence surrounding Bainport ended up in the background of The Ed Show as you can see from the shows opening segment as the camera panned around:

More video from The Ed Show can be seen here.  If you would like me to post more video, let me know.

Fat Cat squeezing the middle class
It wasn't all sadness.  
The Steelworkers union showed up with their AWESOME home made grill to feed the crowd at Bainport.
Other unions and people from all over the area showed up in solidarity with the Sensata workers.  Kossacks and followers of the OLB also showed up for the Ed Show and were delighted to see OLB in action.  I met a woman from Madison who has been following OLB on Facebook and joined in holding a letter - something she said she has dreamed of doing.

Another Kossack Empower Ink from Chicago also came to the event, coming to the OLB as we were packing up after the event with joy that we were there.

Cars passing on the highway honked their support throughout the day and night.  People know the economic impact that the factory closing will have on their community.

Sensata in Freeport will close on December 21.  A very unmerry holiday for the workers, their families, and the community.  They're closing not because the company is not making huge profits, but because Bain Capitol wants even more massive profits - the kinds that come from exploiting Chinese labor.

The greed of Bain can't be rewarded by putting its founder in the White House.


Update:  Badscience has provided the links to OLB on Facebook and website.

UPDATE:  For more on Romney/Bain please see Matt Taibbis recent article in Rolling Stone.

And noise of rain dropped by to post additional awesome video in the comments.

Originally posted to Puddytat on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Badger State Progressive, and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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