Saving Carrier Jobs Is Just The First Step
by Robert Roach, Jr.
On the campaign trail, President-elect Trump discussed workers’ understandable apprehension about losing jobs and what it means for the future of their families. He promised to stop Carrier Corp. from moving 2,100 jobs it had planned to shift from Indiana to Mexico.
The United Steelworkers had tried negotiating with Carrier in order to keep the jobs in the United States by pledging $23 million per year in savings it could offer to the company. But Carrier rejected the offer, citing its expected savings of $65 million each year by moving to Mexico.
A spokesperson for the United Steelworkers 1999, the union representing Carrier’s production employees, told The Washington Post that the union was boxed out of the talks. It seemed Carrier was determined to choose additional profitability over its dedicated workers.
Now, after a lobbying effort from the incoming Trump administration, Carrier has agreed to keep about half of those jobs in Indiana. In exchange, the company will receive new government incentives.
The Alliance will continue to stand with our friends at USW and hope that Trump succeeds in keeping additional jobs in the United States.
However, we still need to make sure Trump doesn't advance Republican plans to attack unions at every turn. Labor’s foes want to go after our pensions, keep the minimum wage low, and make health care less secure for workers and retirees. We must ensure that this one victory for Carrier’s workers is not used by the Trump Administration as a smokescreen to do more damage elsewhere.
Robert Roach, Jr. is president of the Alliance for Retired Americans. He was previously General Secretary‐Treasurer of the IAMAW. For more information, visit www.retiredamericans.org.