Romney crowd calls outsourced Sensata workers “communists”


FREEPORT, Ill. - What happens when you try to get Mitt Romney's attention at a campaign rally? The Republican's jeering tea party supporters call you communists. Outsourced Sensata workers, famous nationally now for their 37-day protest encampment here called "Bainport," report that's just what happened to them yesterday.

The 170 workers losing their jobs as Sensata Technologies relocates to Jiangsu, China, say Romney himself, who owns stock in the Bain-owned Sensata, is in a position to keep their jobs here. They note that the company has made profits in Freeport and say that the only reason to outsource is to make even more profits. Romney's Bain Capital will only have to pay the workers 99 cents per hour rather than the $17 and up the workers earned here.

Tom Gaulrapp, who has been with the company for 33 years, and whose job will end Nov.5 -- the day before the election -- said he and his outsourced co-workers travelled to a Romney rally in Bettendorf, Iowa. "We've been trying to get his attention for months," Gaulrapp said, "But to no avail. He ignored us at the GOP convention in Tampa, at the debate in Hempstead, at his campaign offices - everywhere. So we figured we'd try to get his attention at a campaign rally."

"We want him to speak to us or to come here so he can see what this whole policy of outsourcing does to people and what it does to their communities."

When Gaulrapp and his coworkers got to the rally they took good seats pretty close to the front. Gaulrapp said that he got to ask the candidate: "Will you please come to Freeport, our town, and do something to help us save our jobs?"

At that very moment, he said, security people arrived and removed the Sensata workers. Gaulrapp said that as they were being removed the Romney supporters at the rally began chanting, "U.S.A.!"

"Yes we agree," we were saying back, said Gaulrapp.

"Then, the Romney supporters started yelling and calling us communists," Gaulrapp said. "They were chanting 'USA' against us while their candidate is the one sending American jobs out of the country and we are the ones fighting for those American jobs.

"Here we are, trying everything we know how to keep our jobs from being shipped off to China, and for that they were calling us communists. Go figure!"

The support Sensata workers are getting from around the country mushroomed this week. The New York Times, CNN and MSNBC News have picked up the story and Ed Schultz of MSNBC's Ed Show will do its nightly broadcast this Friday from the Bainport encampment.

Photo: "Bainport" sign. Blake Deppe/PW

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  • Despite their delusions of grandeur and being drunk with power... the government is the servant of the People.

    The People have the power to hire of fire their servant.


    Posted by GeorgePThomas, 10/26/2012 1:35pm (3 years ago)

  • calling us communists? I wear that badge with Pride!

    Posted by Tom Arnold, 10/26/2012 12:38am (3 years ago)

  • They Calling all of you like Communist's because you were defending your right's,,,

    Keep it up!.. Greetings from Chile!

    Posted by Cristian, 10/25/2012 2:50pm (3 years ago)

  • Quoting: "Then, the Romney supporters started yelling and calling us communists," Gaulrapp said. "They were chanting 'USA' against us while their candidate is the one sending American jobs out of the country and we are the ones fighting for those American jobs."

    I find that the slogan, "USA! USA! USA!" has been a mantra for the right, thus turning it into an ultranationalist one.

    As for communists, the right simply apes the word as a 1950s-like red scare tactic. Truly, this is simply reaction rather than intellectually understanding what this idea is. U.S. media/government propaganda, as well as Stalinism with its tsarist/feudal-like warping of this idea, doesn't exactly help either.

    Posted by revolution123, 10/24/2012 1:47pm (3 years ago)

  • Its sad that Republicans are still using red baiting in an attempt to smear unions and the working class. But I have to admit that I wish they were right. Oh that many, many more workers would be Marxists!

    Posted by Rev. Paul White, 10/23/2012 1:10pm (3 years ago)

  • This is global Capitalism! It is based on profit not human beings. Romney is just another one and he wants to protect himself and others of his class. Becoming President would give him and the capitalist class complete power over the laws, military, education and where jobs should go to bring the most profit. The "fair" trade agreements have already impoverished people and caused mass worker migrations all over the world. With Romney President he will help himself, place jobs, destroy native peoples and the environment to enlarge the mass moveable labor force all to the benefit of the wealthy. Americans are beginning now to feel the power these capitalists have to destroy families, lives, and communities. Capitalism is in crisis now and such a president has promised to steal all the peoples' money detroying social security, medical care,food stamps,education, national parks, scientific research and anything that would benefit people under the guise of less government and personal freedom.
    Romney and the GOP has never before been so brazen and honest about what they plan to do.
    They fight back is just beginning.

    Posted by viviana, 10/20/2012 4:48pm (3 years ago)

  • They are republicans. They have no idea what they are talking about. It's that simple.

    Posted by Marin, 10/20/2012 2:45pm (3 years ago)

  • So proud of you. So ashamed of everyone who calls themselves Americans and support the GOP, the worst thing to happen to since the great depression, and the civil war..., and I'm ashamed to say I was a republican for years. They won't wake up until theirchildren and grandchildren are in chains, never learned to think for themselves.... :(

    Posted by Theresa Sabens, 10/19/2012 8:50pm (3 years ago)

  • It just shows how stupid and misinformed GOP voters really are. It's sad these people are losing their jobs...but even sadder that the Romney supporters called you communists when your jobs are being shipped to China. The one thing you can always count on from a GOP voter....they will always vote against their own interests willingly and be proud of it.

    Posted by Producer James, 10/19/2012 3:49pm (3 years ago)

  • As the song said, "you aint been doing nothing if you aint been called a Red!"

    Posted by Elena Mora, 10/19/2012 5:51am (3 years ago)

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