Employees react with anger to Carrier announcement that 2,000 jobs are going to Mexico
Two subsidiaries of Farmington-based United Technologies Corp. are shutting heating and ventilating parts manufacturing plants in Indiana, eliminating more than 2,000 jobs as operations move to Mexico.
Carrier, a manufacturer of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration, said it will relocate its Indianapolis manufacturing operations to a site near its manufacturing plants in Monterrey, Mexico, over three years beginning in 2017.
Chris Nelson, president of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems and services in North America, said the move is intended to address the continued migration of the industry, including suppliers and competitors, to Mexico. He also cited cost and pricing pressures caused partly by new regulations.
“This decision is difficult and we recognize the impact on employees, their families and the community,” he said.
About 1,400 jobs in the area will be lost. Headquarters and engineering offices will continue to be staffed by about 300 employees.
In a video posted on a local TV news report and YouTube, workers respond angrily as they are informed of the decision by an unidentified company official.
The proposal is subject to discussions with union representatives. An official of the United Steelworkers did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
United Technologies Electronic Controls, a manufacturer of microprocessor-based controls for the heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration industry, also announced it will relocate its Huntington, Ind., manufacturing work. About 700 local jobs will be eliminated over two years beginning in 2017 when operations also move to Monterrey, Mexico, to be closer to “key customers.”
Its headquarters and organizations for engineering and product marketing will remain in the Huntington area.
“This plan is intended to address the challenges we continue to face in a rapidly changing industry, with a continued and steady migration” of equipment manufacturing customers and competitors to northern Mexico, said Alex Housten, managing director at United Technologies Electronic Controls.
UTEC designs and manufactures microprocessor-based controls for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. The company also makes thermostats and zoning systems.
Indianapolis Mayor Joseph Hogsett established a task force to “identify and investigate any and all previous or current economic incentives” to Carrier from local, state or federal agencies. The task force also is charged with finding assistance programs for workers losing their jobs.
Carrier received $197,816 in training grants in 2013 and United Technologies received $182,500 in similar assistance in 2010, said Abby Gras, spokeswoman for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The agency is getting information on the companies’ compliance with jobs requirements and will seek to recapture money if necessary, she said.
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