Carrier agrees to keep 'close to 1,000 jobs' in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS - It appears that Carrier Corp. will stay in Indianapolis after all.

Nearly nine months after announcing it would relocate its Indianapolis operations to Mexico, Carrier has reached an agreement with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump to keep nearly 1,000 jobs in the city. The company confirmed its plan on Twitter.

Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence are scheduled to appear in the city Thursday for a formal announcement, according to a transition official who requested anonymity. Another source, who is familiar with the plan, said state incentives are part of the deal.

Carrier in a statement said it is "pleased to have reached a deal ... to keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indy." The company's decision is perhaps the first major victory for Trump since he got elected president earlier in the month. Trump campaigned on keeping manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and promised he would convince Carrier to stay in the city — or punish the company if it refused.

Although the agreement will save the majority of Carrier's Indianapolis jobs, it isn't good news for all employees. The company has 1,400 workers at its west-side furnace plant, which means there could still be hundreds of layoffs in the coming months or years.

"If they're saying they're going to retain 1,000 jobs, that would mean 400 are going away," said Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents Carrier workers.

Jones expressed cautious optimism about the deal, but said the union had not been briefed on it as of late Tuesday.

"We're trying to find out what that consists of," he said. "We haven't had any luck."

City officials also remained in the dark Tuesday. A spokeswoman for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett had no comment.

Whatever the terms of the deal turn out to be, they will be better than the bleak exodus of jobs that Indianapolis had spent months preparing for.

Carrier in February announced that it would begin layoffs next year and shutter its Indianapolis factory in three waves through 2019 as part of a larger reorganization that also includes the closing of Huntington-based United Technologies Electronic Controls. The company did not say whether any additional jobs would be saved in Huntington.

Carrier had been planning to shift all of its Indianapolis jobs to Monterrey, Mexico, where workers would earn $3 an hour. The highest-paid Indianapolis employees make $26 an hour and can earn more than $70,000 a year with overtime. It is unclear whether Carrier will seek salary concessions as part of its agreement to stay. The company can't unilaterally enforce pay cuts, Jones said.

IndyStar


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