Carrier to lay off 300 employees on six-month anniversary of Trump's presidency

INDIANAPOLIS — Carrier Corp. plans to lay off 300 employees at its Indianapolis furnace factoryThursday — and the timing is likely to raise some eyebrows.

The previously announced layoffs coincide, to the day, with the six-month anniversary of Donald Trump's presidency. They are part of a deal Trump struck with the company in December to prevent deeper job cuts at the plant. 

The terminations are the first wave of about 630 planned before the end of the year as the company shifts work to Mexico. Carrier's parent company, United Technologies Corp. (UTX), also plans to lay off an additional 700 workers at a factory in Huntington, Ind., near Fort Wayne, Ind.

In a statement, the company said, "Carrier 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."

More: Carrier to lay off 600 employees starting this summer

The statement noted that more than 30 of the affected employees have taken advantage of a company benefit that reimburses them for pursuing degree programs.

Robert James, the president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents Carrier workers, could not immediately be reached for comment. James, who recently succeeded Chuck Jones as the union's leader, said in March he hoped the company would let enough workers take voluntary severance packages to mitigate some of the layoffs.

Trump had twice tweeted about Jones, saying Jones has done a "terrible job" representing workers and that the union should "spend more time working." Jones had criticized the deal. 

 

The layoffs became a flash point during the 2016 presidential election when United Technologies announced it would cut 2,100 jobs in Indiana. Trump slammed the decision on the campaign trail and threatened to "tax the hell" out of Carrier's products.

More: Carrier deal touted by Trump unusual for Indiana

After winning the election in November, Trump and Vice President Pence announced a deal to prevent more than 700 of the planned job losses. As part of the deal, Pence arranged for Carrier to receive up to $7 million in conditional state tax incentives and training grants — one of his final acts before leaving the governor's office.

Trump and his supporters touted the deal as an early win for the incoming administration — proof that Trump's deal-making abilities could save American jobs. But critics, including the then-president of the union that represents Carrier workers, criticized Trump and Pence for exaggerating the number of jobs saved and for providing taxpayer subsidies to the company even as it ships most work to Mexico.

Contributing: Holly V. Hays, The Indianapolis Star. Follow Tony Cook and James Briggs on Twitter: @indystartony and @JamesEBriggs

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment