Even presidents can find it difficult to keep their promises. The much-ballyhooed promise of saving manufacturing jobs at Carrier Corporation’s Indianapolis plant is going ahead with its final round of layoffs. Carrier announced plans to lay off 215 employees from its Indianapolis factory. Their last day of work is on January 11, 2018.
The last round of layoffs come less than four months after Carrier jettisoned nearly 340 employees at the same Indianapolis factory. Together, the two layoffs total around 555 for the year. This is down from a previous figure of 660. The number is not quite so high because of attrition. On the other hand, it’s not as low as many were hoping for.
The layoffs are a result of Carrier moving its fan coil production south of the border to Monterrey, Mexico. The outsourcing is part of a deal that United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), the parent company of Carrier, made with Trump.
Then-incoming President Trump made a deal with Carrier to save some of those jobs–around 1,070 in Indianapolis for 10 years in exchange for $7.0 million in tax breaks.
At the time, Trump crowed, “They’re going to have a great Christmas. And by the way, that number is going to go up very substantially as they expand this area. So the 1,100 is going to be a minimum number.” Maybe.
Carrier confirmed that more than 1,100 jobs would remain at the Indianapolis facility, which is in keeping with the company’s 2016 agreement. But the devil is in the details; just 730 of the promised 1,069 jobs that Trump promised to save were in manufacturing, the primary area of contention. The rest were engineering and technical jobs, positions that were never on the chopping block.
As part of the deal with Trump to limit outsourcing, United Technologies said it would invest $16.0 million in the plant–an investment Trump said would add jobs. Unfortunately, United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes said the money would go toward additional automation in the factory, which would ultimately result in fewer jobs.
Suffice it to say, workers at the Indianapolis plant do not feel like they have job security. Robert James, president of a union that represents Carrier workers said, “They just don’t have any faith in this plant staying in Indianapolis. There’s just too much uncertainty.”
“Carrier Statement Regarding Indianapolis Operations,” Carrier Corporation, November 30, 2016.
“Carrier Statement Regarding Indianapolis Operations – November 3,” Carrier Corporation, last accessed November 9, 2017.
“Final round of layoffs planned at Carrier plant Trump promised to save,” Fox News, November 8, 2017.
“Carrier Statement Regarding Indianapolis Operations – July 19, 2017,” Carrier Corporation, July 19, 2017.
“United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes: Trump’s ‘No Quid Pro Quo’ Request,” MSNBC, December 6, 2016.