The Rev. Jesse Jackson has been arrested in a group of protesting northern Illinois workers during an act of civil disobedience in Freeport.
Jackson was taken into custody Wednesday with about a dozen workers. He is expected to be released later in the day.
Sensata Technologies is owned by Bain Capital and in the process of moving its Freeport manufacturing operations to China. That'll cost Freeport 170 jobs.
Jackson spent most of the afternoon in "Bainport”, the make-shift campsite that's been home to Sensata employees and their supporters for the last 40 days. Things took a turn around 4:00 p.m. when Jackson and about a dozen workers decided to march onto company property, before being arrested by police.
You may remember the plant is scheduled to close the day before the election, because around 170 jobs are being relocated to China. Today, Jackson said workers were humiliated because they've had to rain their Chinese replacements. He says he hopes his arrest will get Sensata management to the negotiating table. He hoped to convince them to keep the plant open.
“When these workers lose their jobs, they lose their homes, they lose their cars. Their kids cannot stay in school, they lose their hope. We are fighting for the integrity of the American worker, we're fighting for an even playing field,” said Jackson.
Sensata emerged as a flashpoint in the controversy over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s ties to Bain this summer, with the company’s employees pleading publicly with Romney to help save their jobs from being outsourced to China. Not only does Romney stand to profit from the outsourcing of these jobs to China 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 charity organization he controls -- and that he continues to profit from Bain’s offshore holdings and tax avoidance strategies.
A caravan of about 50 former workers and supporters headed to the fire department where the people who were arrested are to be released.