Last night, I visited the incredibly inspiring leaders of Bainport--the camp that Sensata workers in Freeport, Ill., have set up, directly across the street from the factory that's being shut down as Bain Capital ships their jobs to China.
The first person to shake my hand was Tom Gaulrapp, who has worked at the plant for 33 years. He moved through Bainport with a calm and steady hand, and led the rally that I came to speak at in support of the Sensata workers.
I also had the chance to meet quickly with Dot Turner, a 43-year veteran of the plant, who should receive 56 weeks of severance. But she had her severance capped at 26 weeks just before Sensata Technologies bought the factory from Honeywell.
What's happening in Freeport is a living example of what a Romney economy looks like. The Romney economy means outsourcing more American jobs, more profits for private equity owners, and more people being put out of work in communities across the country. This is the economic story that we need to end here in America.
We need to hold Mitt Romney accountable for what's happening in Freeport, and in communities just like it--because this is his economic vision come to life.
When Romney co-founded Bain Capital, he created the model of investing in companies that were "pioneers of outsourcing." He set all of this in motion.
Bain Capital followed his model when it created Sensata Technologies, buying up lots of factories like the one across the street and moving the production to places like China, where workers make next to nothing.
Mitt Romney owns more than $50 million in Bain funds, including $8 million in the one that controls Sensata. He will make an awful lot of money from the offshoring of their jobs. Their pain is Mitt's gain.
I'm glad that I had the chance to come to Bainport today. We let the Sensata workers know that SEIU members stand with them in calling on Bain Capital to stop shipping these jobs to China, and we strongly support their fight for a full and fair severance.
I was so proud of the SEIU member leaders who joined me at Bainport to stand with the Sensata leaders: janitors, security officers, healthcare workers, home care workers, school workers, city and state workers.
While Mitt Romney and Bain Capital are telling us we're on our own, we know that we're all in this together. That, to me, is what Bainport is all about.UPDATE: Watch local TV coverage of Mary Kay Henry's visit to Freeport from WIFR: