Bain Capital Workers Face Down Mitt Romney Over the Outsourcing of Their Jobs
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AMY GOODMAN: Now, you first heard that Honeywell was being bought, that your plant was being bought, when you were actually in China training your replacements? The company sent you to China?
CHERYL RANDECKER: Actually, I was in China for Honeywell’s, moving their lines. And then—I was over there in June of 2010, and they said the automotive line had been sold. When we got back Freeport—
AMY GOODMAN: You learned in China.
CHERYL RANDECKER: In China. When we got back to Freeport, we asked the managers at that time if this was true. "No, this is not true." October, the end of October of that same year, they announced that they were being—the automotive line was being sold to China, or just Sensata, and was—probably be moved.
AMY GOODMAN: So, now, you were training your replacements in China, and then the Chinese—some of the Chinese workers came to the plant to be trained here, as well, in the United States?
CHERYL RANDECKER: The workers that I trained in China were for Honeywell. The workers that we trained here in the States at—this last group of people were the Sensata workers.
AMY GOODMAN: How did that feel to be training your replacement?
CHERYL RANDECKER: Knowing that you’re going to be completely out of a job and there’s no hope for any job in our area, it was gut-wrenching, because you don’t know where the next point is going to be. I mean, we’re 52 years old. What are we going to do? So, within three weeks—or, not three weeks, three months, my life is going to change as I know it. And to start over at this point in my life is extremely scary.
AMY GOODMAN: But you don’t blame the Chinese workers.
CHERYL RANDECKER: I don’t blame the workers so as much as I blame the governments of both countries.
AMY GOODMAN: Tom, taking this issue to Mitt Romney, how have you done it? Where have you raised your voice?
TOM GAULRAPP: Well, the first thing we did was the employees signed an open letter to Mitt Romney urging him to come to Freeport and to help save our jobs.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, locate Freeport, Illinois, for us.
TOM GAULRAPP: Freeport, Illinois, is about two hours west of Chicago and about 20 miles south of the Wisconsin border, so it’s really in the northwestern corner of the area, of Illinois. And the economy there is really bad. So, after we wrote the open letter, we did petition drives to congressmen. We did a petition drive to—which was delivered to the Bain Capital headquarters in Evanston, Illinois. And we attempted to bring the open letter to the Romney campaign headquarters after they repeatedly said that they were unaware of the situation. At every stop when we had to—tried to have contact with them, they locked us out of the building. At the one campaign headquarters outside of Madison, Wisconsin, they called the police on us. So then we tried to ratchet it up, and we actually went to a Romney event, campaign event, in Bettendorf, Iowa, where we politely asked him to come to Freeport, Illinois, and help save our jobs. And our response there was we were also forcibly removed from there. So, we decided to ratchet up even more, and that’s why we’re here.
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the supporters of Mitt Romney when you come to events where he is, what their response is to you?
TOM GAULRAPP: Well, you know, we’re there trying to save our jobs, and we were called communists. For trying to save our jobs from going to China from the United States, we were called communists. They—if there hadn’t been a large police group in there, I’m sure we would have been more threatened. They started this "U.S.A." chant. It’s like, yes, we’re all for the U.S.A., too. That’s what we’re trying to do here. We’re trying to keep well-paying manufacturing jobs from being moved out of this country to China. And they make it sound like we’re not patriotic. And it boggles the mind as to what they’re thinking.