SECOND UPDATE: 4:29 PM CDT: We're back and taking your questions for a little longer. Then we'll be live on MSNBC's Ed Show tonight! Thanks!
EARLIER: 1:59 PM CDT: Hi all - I'm sorry to have to do this but we just got word that they're shutting the plant down out of "fear." We don't know what they're afraid of, exactly.
We're going to find out what's going on, but I will be back to answer questions later.
The day before Election Day will be my last day of work at Sensata Technologies, a Bain Capital-owned company. And on Election Day, I'm going to get up, I'm going to go to the polls, and then I will go and sign up for unemployment compensation for the first time in my life.
Hi all. I'm Tom Gaulrapp, and I've worked at the Sensata plant across the street from where I type this for 33 years.
On behalf of all of the Sensata workers here in Freeport, Illinois, I wanted to thank the Daily Kos community for your role in making our situation one of the most-talked-about stories on the Internet. It's led to live coverage on CNN, MSNBC, and tonight, the Ed Show is broadcasting live from Bainport.
We're in Day 37 here, and we're not going away. We've had people from all over the world come and join us, and what your community has helped to make possible is keeping the momentum going.
I want to hear from you. What's on your mind when it comes to our situation? Do you have any questions for the workers and I? Any specifics that you want us to share?
Ask in the comments section below.
What we see here in Freeport is the Romney Economy in action, where they outsource good manufacturing jobs to places like China. And all that's left in Freeport are part-time, minimum wage jobs, with no benefits. They're jobs that no family can survive off of.
Mitt Romney created Bain Capital. He helped pioneer the outsourcing of good American jobs to China. It's a business model that puts profits above people -- at all cost to us back home. And it's the approach he would take as CEO of our country.
But Mitt Romney's connection to Sensata is even more direct. He is also personally invested in Sensata Technologies, according to his 2010 and 2011 tax returns, and last year got a huge tax break by moving some of his Sensata stock to one of his foundations.
My colleagues and I don't have own own private foundations. We don't want to be rich. We just want to have a decent house, in a decent neighborhood, and be able to support our families. We had our American dream ripped out from underneath us for nothing more than an extra buck.
So please, ask away. I'm happy to answer any questions that you might have for us.