Former Honeywell workers against policies that send jobs overseas

October  23, 2012

Former Honeywell workers want Congress to stop rewarding companies for sending jobs overseas. And democratic congressional candidate Cheri Bustos agrees. This morning in Rock Island, she and some laid-off workers discussed tax policies and free trade deals. Bustos says they cost Illinois 91,000 jobs since the US implemented NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

Lonnie Edwards, from Rock Island, worked at Honeywell for 30 years, starting when it was known as Servus Rubber. It changed hands in 1993 when Norcross bought the company, then Honeywell acquired it in 2008. 

About a year ago, Edwards says Honeywell moved safety boot production from the Rock Island plant to China. She doesn't like it that a huge company moved jobs overseas and away from her community just to make slightly more money.

Bustos says she is against all "NAFTA-like" free trade agreements, and supports "The Bring American Jobs Home Act." It would remove tax incentives for companies that send jobs overseas, and add incentives to bring jobs back. The former East Moline alderman also says she supports the "21st Century Trade Act" which analyze countries where US products are in demand, taking into account human rights violations and the environment.

Illinois' 17th Congressional District is now represented by Bobby Schilling of Colona, a republican. 

Honeywell Safety Products laid off a total of 245 employees from its plant in Rock Island. About 40 people still work at the injection molding operation next door.