French Samsonite Workers Visit Bainport

By: Landon Cassman Email
By: Landon Cassman Email

Fifteen Samsonite workers from France visited the campsite set up by protesting Sensata workers whose jobs are being outsourced to China.

The Samsonite workers came to lend their support to the tent community, because they also lost their jobs to Bain Capital, Sensata's parent company, back in 2007.

"(We) very strong feelings because the disaster the people here are living, (we) already experienced it," said Brigitte Petit through a translator, regarding her visit from France. "It's very difficult. But at the same time, (we're) happy to be here and fight for a day at least together with the workers here in Freeport."

Sensata employees have camped in the lot across the street from the Freeport factory for 32 days. Bainport residents are blown away by the amount of support they've received from around the world.

"To actually have people come all this way, and take time out of what they're doing to show support for us, it takes your breath away, it really does," said Tom Gaulrapp, who will be losing his Sensata position within the coming weeks.

Protesters say the past month has been difficult, but their French visitors give them hope.

Sensata employees say they will stay at Bainport until former Bain Capital CEO Mitt Romney speaks to them about outsourcing, or until businesses stop sending jobs overseas.

The French Samsonite workers filed a joint lawsuit against Bain Capital several months ago. They will be visiting the headquarters of the company in Boston this week. Sen. Dick Durbin will be stopping by Bainport on Tuesday, and Rev. Al Sharpton on Saturday.

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