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Rev. Jesse Jackson Arrested in Protest of Bain-Owned Sensata

"Essence of American struggle": Employees protest loss of 170 manufacturing jobs to China

Common Dreams staff

Jesse Jackson joins unions, employees in protest of shipping US manufacturing jobs overseas. (Photo by Joe Tamborello / The Journal- Standard)

Rev. Jesse Jackson was released after being arrested on Wednesday for protesting Bain-owned Sensata Technologies. Jackson was taken into custody after joining plant employees and union officials in a march onto Sensata's property in protest of the company's decision to move manufacturing operations to China, at the cost of 170 local jobs.

“This is the essence of the American struggle,” said Jackson. The Freeport, Ill. based plant has, for decades, produced state-of-the-art sensors and controls for Ford and General Motors. John Nichols writing for The Nation notes that this is "precisely the sort of high-tech operation that a country looking to compete in the global economy of the 21st century would want to maintain as a domestic manufacturer".

According to the Huffington Post, the factory's closing has become an embarrassing campaign issue for the former Bain CEO and GOP presidential nominee, who continues to reap benefits from tax breaks based on his Sensata investments. "Activists and workers have called on Romney to use his influence with Bain to halt the offshoring," wrote Huffington Post.

Sansata protests have been mounting over the past few months. In recent weeks, nine protestors have been arrested for refusing to leave the plant's lobby after officials declined to meet and an encampment outside the facility—dubbed "Bainport"—has reached its 44th day of occupation. "This is more than Bain, this is corporate trade policy,” Jackson said during rally at "Bainport" on Monday. “Sensata can leave, but we are staying."

After being released, Jackson announced that protests will continue next week with greater numbers.

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