The Secret Service agents told the Carrier workers to stay put, so Chuck Jones sat in the factory conference room for nearly three hours, waiting for president-elect Donald Trump. He’d grown used to this suspense.
Seven months earlier, at a campaign rally in Indianapolis, Trump had pledged to save the plant’s jobs, most of which were slated to move to Mexico. Then the businessman won the election, and the 1,350 workers whose paychecks were on the line wondered if he’d keep his promise.
Jones, president of the United Steelworkers 1999, which represents Carrier employees, felt optimistic when Trump announced last week that he’d reached a deal with the factory’s parent company, United Technologies, to preserve 1,100 of the Indianapolis jobs — until the union leader heard from Carrier that only 730 of the production jobs would stay and 550 of his members would lose their livelihoods, after all.
At the Dec. 1 meeting, where Trump was supposed to lay out the details, Jones hoped he would explain himself.
“But he got up there,” Jones said Tuesday, “and, for whatever reason, lied his a– off.”
In front of a crowd of about 150 supervisors, production workers and reporters, Trump praised Carrier and its parent company, United Technologies. “Now they’re keeping — actually the number’s over 1,100 people,” he said, “which is so great.”
Jones wondered why the president-elect appeared to be inflating the victory. Trump and Pence, he said, could take credit for rescuing 800 of the Carrier jobs, including non-union positions.
Of the nearly 1,700 workers at the Indianapolis plant, however, 350 in research and development were never scheduled to leave, Jones said. Another 80 jobs, which Trump seemed to include in his figure, were non-union clerical and supervisory positions. (A Carrier spokesperson confirmed that 800 factory jobs once earmarked for Mexico are staying.) And now the president-elect was applauding the company and giving it millions of dollars in tax breaks, even as hundreds of Indianapolis workers prepared to be laid off.
Source: The Washington Post