Sensata Workers Camp Out

By: Landon Cassman Email
By: Landon Cassman Email

A controversial outsourcing proposal takes a new twist in Freeport as dozens of Sensata works set up a campsite across the street from the plant.

Joanne Penniston says she's not moving from this make-shift campsite until Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helps her and 170 workers get their jobs back.

"He might not be the CEO right now but he has voice, he has influence, and he can change it," said Penniston, who ends her 8-year Sensata career on December 1.

Penniston is protesting with dozens of Sensata workers whose jobs are being outsourced to China. The group set up a campsite across the street from the Freeport factory and are calling the location "Bain-port", which is a dig at Bain Capital, the company that owns the plant.

Workers say they will stay here every day until Romney comes to Freeport to discuss how outsourcing is affecting American lives.

"I'm a single mother of two children and I don't know how I'm going to support my family," said Penniston. "So he needs to come to Freeport and answer to Sensata workers."

Over the past several months, Sensata workers have tried to get in contact with the presidential candidate. Several employees even traveled to Tampa to appeal to Romney at the Republican National Convention.

"Trying to think about how we're going to manage to pay bills and get through the winter, and have a good Christmas. I think that's the hardest," said Joanne Penniston's daughter Karrie who came out to support her mother.

The group says the rally is not only about saving their own jobs, but changing the tide of outsourcing across the country.

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