The Reverend Jesse Jackson was arrested on Wednesday as part of a group of former workers at Sensata Technologies, who were participating in a civil disobedience.
A spokesman for Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Michael Peery, stated that Jackson was arrested with about a dozen workers, but he is expected to be released later in the day, reports The Washington Post.
Freeport police did not comment when asked for a statement about the arrest. The workers were protesting Sensata Technologies, which is owned by Bain Capital.
The company is in the process of moving its manufacturing operations in Freeport to China, which will cost the city 170 jobs. Company officials have explained the move by saying that most of the plant’s revenues are already generated in Asia, making the move a logical decision for them.
WIFR notes that the Sensata Technologies plant is scheduled to be closed the day before the election. After he was arrested, Reverend Jesse Jackson stated that workers at the plant have been humiliated by the job loss, because they have been forced to train their Chinese replacements.
Jackson also stated that he hopes his arrest will force Sensata’s management to re-think their decision and go back to the negotiating table. He hopes that it also convinced them to keep the plant open. The Reverend added:
“When these workers lose their jobs, they lose their homes, they lose their cars. Their kids cannot stay in school, they lose their hope. We are fighting for the integrity of the American worker, we’re fighting for an even playing field.”
Along with Jackson’s appearance at the protest, Freeport Mayor, George Gaulrapp, stated that he spoke with Sensata’s management yesterday about the plant’s closure. Gaulrapp stated that they threatened to close the plant early if anyone entered the building on Wednesday.