Politics

Carrier Workers: Trump Lied About Deal

| by Robert Fowler

While President-elect Donald Trump's deal with the air conditioning company Carrier has helped spike his favorability nationwide, union representatives of the Indiana factory's workers have accused the business mogul of lying about how many jobs he has saved.

On Dec. 1, Trump announced that his team had negotiated a deal with United Technologies that would preserve over 1,100 Carrier factory jobs in Indianapolis, Indiana. In April, the business mogul had pledged to prevent Carrier's plans to send jobs offshore from the factory to Mexico.

"No they're keeping — actually the number's over 1,100 people, which is so great," Trump said during his announcement.

Members of the United Steelworkers 1999, a union that represents the Carrier employees in Indiana, are now accusing Trump of intentionally inflating the number of jobs his deal had saved.

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Only 730 production jobs at the Indianapolis plant will remain while 550 others will be sent offshore. Another 80 non-union supervisory jobs will also remain, while 350 research and development jobs were never in danger of being moved.

A Carrier spokesman confirmed to The Washington Post that Trump's deal had saved a total of 800 jobs that had been scheduled to be relocated to Mexico -- 300 less than the president-elect had stated.

In exchange for keeping 800 factory jobs in Indiana, Carrier will receive $7 million in tax breaks over the next decade from the state, which is currently still being governed by Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers 1999, said that he had expected Trump to announce that his deal with United Technologies had saved 800 jobs.

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"But he got up there and, for whatever reason, lied his a** off," Jones said. The union president added that after he heard Trump inflate the numbers during his announcement, "I almost threw up in my mouth."

Kelly Ray Hugunin, a representative of United Steelworkers 1999, has revealed that the union had been kept out of the loop during the Carrier negotiations.

"There was no interaction with the Trump team and the union at any level," Hugunin told ThinkProgress. "The union was left in the dark until the day of the announcement. Even then, no interaction with the Trump team."

In Hugunin's view, the Trump team's decision not to involve United Steelworkers 1999 in the negotiations was detrimental to the interests of the factory workers.

"Perhaps more jobs could have been saved had the union been invited to participate in negotiations," the union representative added.

On Dec. 7, United Steelworkers 1999 spokesman TJ Bray told CNN that his union felt grateful for the 800 jobs that had been saved but felt misled by Trump, calling the president-elect's announcement "a dog and pony show."

"We were happy that no doubt some jobs were saved but disappointed we are still losing a lot of workers," Bray added.

On Dec. 6, a Politico/Morning Consult survey found that 60 percent of respondents had a more favorable view of Trump as a direct result of his deal with Carrier.

The House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, praised the president-elect's negotiations.

"Well, I'm pretty happy that we're keeping jobs in America — aren't you?" Ryan told reporters on the day of Trump's announcement. "I don't know the details of the Carrier arrangement … but I think it's pretty darn good that people are keeping their jobs in Indiana instead of going to Mexico."

Sources: CNN via YouTubePolitico (2), ThinkProgress, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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