FREEPORT - Protesters and workers at Sensata Technologies have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board Wednesday morning after company officials allegedly threatened to shut down the plant immediately if protests outside the plant did not stop. Freeport Police were reportedly asked to relay that message. The plant is scheduled to be shut down in December with 170 jobs and equipment shipped outsourced to China.
Company officials shut down the plant last weekend after cable news network MSNBC broadcast an hour long program hosted by liberal host Ed Schultze Friday night from the so-called 'Bainport' complex across the street from the plant. That was followed by a visit from Civil Rights activists Rev. Al Sharpton on Saturday Rev. Jesse Jackson on Monday. Jackson is also planning on visiting the site again on Wednesday.
The plant shutdown has become a talking point for Democrats and liberal activists because it is owned by Bain Capital, the investment firm founded by Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Romney left the company more than a decade ago, but has retained a significant investment in the company, and workers and others have pleaded with him to intervene to either halt the shutdown or provide full severance to workers there, many who have been employed at the plant for decades.
'Bainport' activists filed two charges were filed with the NLRB Wednesday. The first charge was for "increasing security and announcing a new policy, or a previously unenforced policy, prohibiting off-duty employees from entering work areas at non-work times, in response to and in retaliation for employees engaging in protected concerted activity," while the second charge was for threatening to shut the plant down.
In the meantime, Sensata has posted a guard at the plant and asked police to arrest anyone protester who walks onto private property.