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Carrier CEO: Americans Don't Want Manufacturing Jobs

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The CEO of United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier, said in an interview that many of the jobs reportedly saved in a recent deal with President-elect Donald Trump won't be saved at all, but instead given to machines because factory jobs aren't what Americans want.

In an interview with CNBC's "Mad Money with Jim Cramer" and reported on by Business Insider, CEO Greg Hayes said his company plans to make a large investment in automation at the Indiana plant that has garnered so much attention because of Trump's direct involvement in keeping jobs there.

“We're going to make a $16 million investment in that factory in Indianapolis to automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive,” Hayes said. “Now is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost of labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we'll make the capital investments there.”

Hayes continued, saying, "The jobs, again, are not jobs on assembly line that people really find all that attractive over the long term. Now I've got some very long service employees who do a wonderful job for us. And we like the fact that they're dedicated to UTC, but I would tell you the key here, Jim, is not to be trained for the job today. Our focus is how do you train people for the jobs of tomorrow."

Carrier already said it would move at least 1,000 jobs to Mexico instead of the proposed 2,000 before Trump's offer of tax breaks to the company.

Hayes said another reason he agreed to the deal is because of the large number of government contracts his company receives.

“I was born at night but not last night,” Hayes said. “I also know that about 10 percent of our revenue comes from the U.S. government. And I know that a better regulatory environment, a lower tax rate can eventually help UTC [over] the long run.”

Earlier in the interview, Hayes told CNBC he likes sending jobs to Mexico because the wages he has to pay there are so much lower than what he would have to pay Americans.

“About 80 percent lower, on average,” he said.

Hayes also said the absenteeism and turnover rates are much lower in Mexico than in the U.S.

“Absenteeism runs about 1 percent. Turnover runs about 2 percent. Very, very dedicated workforce,” he said.

According to a Morning Consult poll, Trump's deal with Carrier is popular among voters.

The poll found that 60 percent of respondents viewed Trump more favorably because of the deal, reported Politico. 

Sources: Business Insider, Politico / Photo credit: United Technologies

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