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This Is What Happens When Republican-Dominated States Adopt Right-To-Work Laws: Carrier Tells Stunned USW-Represented Workers It’s Moving Their Indiana Operation To Mexico Because Of Cheaper Wages

Move Will Occur In Phases Through 2019 & Negatively Impact 1,300 Good-Paying USW Jobs/Amid Worker Boos & Volley Of Obscenities, Carrier Rep Has Audacity To Tell Workers They “Must Remain Committed To Manufacturing Same High-Quality Product”

Published Thursday, February 11, 2016
by WNYLaborToday.com & www.wthr.com

(INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA) – In the Right-To-Work (for less) State of Indiana, Representatives of the Carrier Corporation told its stunned Union Employees Wednesday (February 10th) that the company would be moving its operations to Mexico in phases because of cheaper wages – a decision that will impact 1,300 Union Jobs by the end of 2019.

When the dust settled, it was announced Carrier’s two Indiana plants - which make products for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industry, will be shifting their manufacturing operations to Mexico, which will negatively impact an overall total of 2,100 Workers.  Carrier will shutter its manufacturing facility here and move its operation to Mexico, which will eliminate a total of 1,400 jobs during the next three years.  Meanwhile, United Technologies Electronic Controls also announced it will move its Huntington manufacturing operations to a new plant in Mexico, costing the Northeastern Indiana City 700 jobs by 2018.  Those Workers make microprocessor-based controls for the HVAC and refrigeration industries.  Carrier and UTEC are units of Hartford, Connecticut-based United Technologies Corporation.

In a widely Internet-circulated, 3.5-minute video of the announcement that was taken by a Worker on their cell phone inside the plant, a Carrier Rep can be seen and heard addressing Employees, in part: “It was an extremely difficult decision.  The best way to stay competitive is to move production to Mexico (which) will allow us to maintain high levels of product quality by competitive pricing and continue to serve the extremely price-sensitive marketplace.  I want to be clear, this is strictly a business decision.  It by no means reflects on the performance of this facility.  Throughout the transition we must remain committed to manufacturing the same high-quality product.  We still have a job to do and continue as we do every day.”

The emotions of the stunned Workers – represented by United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1999 – can be heard in the video, as well as a volley of obscenities yelled at the Carrier Official (You can watch the video via WNYLaborToday.com’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/wnylt/).

Carrier manufactures furnaces in Indianapolis.  While the company plans to relocate over the next three years in three phases, Carrier Officials said its residential HVAC headquarters and engineering organization will remain in Indianapolis.  The phase-out is to begin in May of 2017 and will wrap up in 2019.

With the current fight to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement, which would further erode the American Economy and allow good-paying jobs to continue to be sent overseas as they were under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other detrimental trade agreements, this latest announcement of American companies making the decision to move jobs to another country where wages are cheaper and do not compare to U.S. Worker Wages is a further example of why Workers need to get involved, voice their opinions and ultimately vote for candidates that support Working Family issues.

Now in what may be yet another too little too late scenario, The Indianapolis Star reports Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett issued an executive order Wednesday to convene local, state and federal resources to assist Workers who will lose their jobs: “Today’s surprise announcement was without warning and incredibly disappointing.  While I am obviously concerned about the economic impact, my top priority is the well-being of the hard-working families affected by this decision.  A job lost in any part of our community affects us all and I believe these are the times we must come together as one city to lift up our neighbors.”

USW 1999 reportedly represents 1,300 members at the Indianapolis Carrier plant.  Local 1999 President Chuck Jones told WTHR-TV in Indianapolis that the Union Workers who were notified about their jobs moving to Mexico "did not see it coming.”  “It was a total shock," he said.  The move will mean the loss of Union Jobs that average $20 to $21 per hour.  "We know the reason.  They want to become more profitable by exploiting Mexican labor," Jones said.

One Worker, Robert James, told the Indianapolis TV Station: "This facility is not losing money. If it was losing money, I think these things would be understood better.  This company just wants to make more."

For More on This Breaking Labor News Story, Go to: http://www.indystar.com/story/money/2016/02/10/carrier-move-indy-unit-mexico-eliminate-1400-jobs/80181804/ and http://www.wthr.com/story/31188372/carrier-to-relocate-indianapolis-manufacturing-operations-to-mexico-1400-jobs-affected.

 

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