The Carrier factory where a president-elect Donald J. Trump boasted of having crafted a deal to save jobs from moving to Mexico has begun laying off workers. 338 employees at the Carrier Corporation fan coil manufacturing facility in Indianapolis will be let go Friday under the previously announced plan, the company said in a statement.
Their positions will still be shifted to Mexico, where workers are paid in a day what the Rust Belt employees make in an hour. Those plans included an additional 290 employees to be terminated on December 22nd, 2017, three days before Christmas.
Carrier continues to honor its 2016 commitment to employ approximately 1,100 associates in Indianapolis, the company said in a statement.
It noted that more than 30 of the workers will be taking advantage of job retraining programs. All affected employees will also receive a one-time payment, severance, six months of medical insurance, and be able to apply for jobs elsewhere in the company.
The company became a political target, and then an opportunity, during the campaign when a cell phone video a worker took of the announced relocation in February went viral.
Voters who wanted jobs to stay in America were outraged. Then when Trump said in an April 2016 speech,If I were in office right now, Carrier would not be leaving Indiana, they were ebullient.
The individual factory became a favorite campaign topic for Trump. And in late November, before he was even inaugurated, Trump announced that he and Vice-President elect Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana, had worked a deal for Carrier to keep 1,100 jobs in the state.
At the time pundits said the deal might augur a new era for Trumpian intervention in the markets to protect American worker interests. But so far it's been a one-off. Other companies jumped on the bandwagon, sending out press releases to highlight hiring investments they'd already made.
Trump took credit for some of the job creation, for instance saying that he was thrilled to announce 20,000 jobs at Charter Communications which was already announced in 2015. And he claimed responsibility for announcements from Ford, G.M., Lockheed Martin and others companies, tweeting that jobs [at the companies[ are coming back... because of me!
Local officials said Carrier would receive US$7 million in tax incentives in return for keeping some of the jobs in the state. As part of the deal, the company also promised to invest US$16 million in the facility. The majority of it will go towards automation and result in net job loss, the CEO of Carrier's parent company, United Technologies, said in December.