FREEPORT - Reverend Jesse
Jackson joins the list of civil rights activists offering support for soon to
be unemployed workers at Sensata Technologies in Freeport.
He focused his speech, Monday on the issue of foreign policy and its
relation to jobs; a direct shot at Monday night's presidential debate.
Jackson took the stage at
the protest camp, "Bainport" located on Stephenson County Fairgrounds. He made an appearance after a weekend visit
from Rev. Al Sharpton.
The Reverend joined
roughly 150 Sensata workers on their quest to get severance pay and possibly
their jobs back. But Jackson framed the struggle in a new light,
claiming he wasn't just there for Sensata jobs, but for all jobs being
outsourced from what he deems as "corporate greed."
"Don't give our
jobs to exploited Chinese workers and say they took our jobs," Jackson said in a call and repeat fashion,
much like he would address a congregation.
"End the lies, tell
the truth, prepare an even playing field for the American worker."
After his speech, Jackson marched with
Sensata workers to their factory like they did last week. The workers' previous efforts landed 17
year-old, Wes Hoyer, in handcuffs. He
says he was supporting his mom. She lost
her job when the Sensata factory was owned by Honeywell and they shipped her
"I've been involved
in politics for a long time now, just watching the news and following that sort
of thing, and I just wanted to put my money where my mouth was," said Hoyer, a Dakota High
Hoyer says he won't
be eligible to vote in the upcoming elections, but he says he'll be watching
alongside Jackson. He says both Jackson and himself were looking
for the same thing out of Monday night's debate.
"I want them to at
least acknowledge what's going on, more than they did last time," said Hoyer. "They don't need to mention us by name, just
admit that there's a problem and it really needs to be fixed."
"We'll see who has
the best corporate policy to stop jobs from leaving, plants from closing and
drugs and guns from coming," said Jackson,
when asked what he was looking for from Monday night's debate.
Both Obama and
Romney were asked about China
and jobs in a round about way toward the end of Monday night's debate. The candidates agreed that China needs to
start playing by the rules. Romney said
he'd label China
as a "currency manipulator." Obama
called out Romney for outsourcing jobs at companies he'd previously managed,
however no mention of Sensata in Freeport.
declined to comment on his son, U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. about his
election status. He has been on medical
leave since June with no signs of returning soon. Jackson Sr. declined to comment.