Freeport's city leaders back Sensata workers in their request for more severance pay. They might not be able to sway Sensata management, but employees have the city's support.
Freeport aldermen passed the resolution presented by workers 6 to 2. What Sensata employees want is a year's worth of severance pay after they lose their jobs next month. Those positions are being moved to China. Workers claim the extra money would help them get on their feet, and even help Freeport's economy and the local tax base. They say a full year's wages for all workers would add up to roughly $7.7 million. Currently, workers say they'll receive one week of severance pay for every year they've worked at Sensata Technologies and at the plant's former-owner Honeywell, with a 26-week maximum pay-out.
1st Ward Alderman Tom Klemm and 7th Ward Alderman Mike Koester voted against this resolution. Alderman Koester says he wishes he knew more about the severance situation before giving his vote.
"We were given a resolution to read without all the information, we requested more information so we could vote on it later, they decided to vote on it tonight. I don't like to vote on anything unless I know all the information on it first and can make an intelligence decision and vote on it." -says Alderman Koester.
Amber Hoyer, a supporter for Sensata workers is just happy the message got through.
"It's so nice that they can actually hear us. We've been heard, it's just a really good feeling." -Hoyer boasts.
Sensata Technologies Global Communications Director Linda Megathlin has released a statement on behalf of the company.
"Sensata has not reduced severance benefits for Freeport employees and we are recognizing their years of service to both Honeywell and Sensata in determining each individual's benefit level. We have posted a fact sheet on the lower left hand corner of our website which has additional background information."
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