Carrier announced the first round of layoffs at their Indianapolis furnace factory on Wednesday. Intentional or not, it coincides with the six-month mark for President Trump — and V.P. Mike Pence — being sworn into office.
The 338 jobs that will be eliminated and picked up by their plant in Monterrey, Mexico are a portion of the total 2,100 positions Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies, had originally planned to move, effectively closing down their Indiana plant. The layoffs became a focal point during the Indiana primary and then-Gov. Pence stepped in with Trump and negotiated the best, most beautiful, most clever deal ever with the company. That is, they let the Indiana tax payers foot the bill to keep 1,100 positions in the U.S., including their headquarters.
Pence and Trump negotiated with Carrier a deal that allows them to claim $7 million in tax breaks for keeping the plant open for another 10 years.
Carrier says they are still honoring that deal, but will still be moving forward with outsourcing the production of fan coils.
Carrier in a statement said it “continues to honor its 2016 commitment to employ approximately 1,100 associates in Indianapolis. As announced in November, this includes headquarters and engineering jobs and more than 800 employees supporting our world-class gas furnace manufacturing center.”
Good on Carrier for honoring their commitment, despite the deal being struck largely because a belligerent GOP nominee decided to go after them and sic his toxic supporters against the manufacturer simply for trying to find a more cost effective area to build its products.
Although Trump and Pence have been credited with saving Carrier’s Indianapolis factory, James said employees don’t feel much security.
“They just don’t have any faith in this plant staying in Indianapolis,” he said. “There’s just too much uncertainty.”
The Carrier deal was a band-aid, but it won’t keep the manufacturer in the U.S. any longer than it has to. It was window-dressing during a heated campaign and many of the Carrier employees knew it and have already taken voluntary separation packages.
Sweetheart deals can only do so much to solve the symptoms until people decide to look at the cause and realize that these kinds of manufacturing jobs aren’t going to be the backbone of the U.S. economy again as in the past.