President-elect Donald Trump has struck a deal with Carrier in Indiana to save nearly 1,000 factory jobs from being shipped to Mexico — a stunning breakthrough that left employees hopeful and jubilant that their positions might be spared.
Paula Hargrove, a 60-year-old worker at the Indianapolis plant, said last night the news could make her Christmas more merry if her job is among the ones saved.
“It’s going to be a lot more joyful,” she told the Herald. “We might even splurge a little more. I was going to tighten up and save as much as I can.
“I’m shocked Trump did this,” she added. “It’s fantastic. I’m relieved for my daughter, who also works there, and our co-workers. Everybody has been on edge. I just want to know, what’s the catch? I’ll just have to find out more tomorrow.”
Carrier confirmed hundreds of jobs will remain in Indiana, in a dramatic turnaround from the company’s initial plan to move about 2,000 of them to Mexico. Trump singled out Carrier on the campaign trail as he spoke out about American jobs fleeing the country, and threatened to inflict tariffs on companies outsourcing them.
“We are pleased to have reached a deal with President-elect Trump & VP-elect (Mike) Pence to keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indy,” Carrier tweeted last night. “More details soon.”
Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, remained cautious, as he scrambled to find out more details about the agreement.
“There’s room for optimism because something’s positive, I just don’t know what it is or to what degree and what to expect,” Jones said last night. “So I’m anxiously going to find out what the hell the particulars are, so we can let our members know.”
Asked if he was surprised by the developments, Jones said: “Shocked.”
Jones said the company told the union that Trump and possibly Pence are coming to town tomorrow to make the official announcement.
“We’re trying to scurry around and find out what the particulars on the deal supposedly are,” he said.
Indianapolis City Councilor Jared Evans, a Democrat who’s been fighting Carrier’s plan to close its plant in the city, called reports that many of the jobs would be saved “fantastic news” for those workers.
“I’m really excited for these families; this is just fantastic news for them right before Christmas,” Evans said last night.
“Hopefully, it’s a process other states and cities can use to work with other companies that are moving jobs overseas or to Mexico,” he said. “We just want to make sure this is being done in an appropriate way. I’m anxious to see what’s going to happen to the remaining jobs.”
The New York Times reported last night that Trump and Pence will reiterate campaign promises to ease regulations and overhaul the corporate tax code in exchange for Carrier keeping its Indianapolis factory running. Carrier’s parent company is defense and aerospace conglomerate United Technologies.
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