INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Tonight, hundreds of Indianapolis workers are bracing for the worst as they prepare to lose their jobs. It is a story line that employees at Rexnord Bearings say is all too familiar; another company and another round of jobs moving to Mexico. The company says is it is a tentative plan right now, but workers are already planning for their jobs to disappear by next April.
“It was quite a shock. Everybody was shocked. It is just now settling in,” said Rexnord machine operator Gary Canter.
Canter is one of 350 employees who learned Friday the company is tentatively planning to move its west side Indianapolis manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Today he was one of several workers meeting with Union leaders in an effort to help determine their fate.
“This is basically the same thing as Carrier. Rexnord like Carrier was a very profitable company. They produced a very good and quality product. It was not due to bad quality or not being profitable. It was over corporate greed, pure and simple. Our workers cannot compete with $3.00 an hour Mexican wages,” said United Steel Workers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones.
The Steel Workers Union said average wages in Indianapolis are $24 an hour. Jones says the Union is planning to meet with the company in the coming weeks to negotiate. The company still maintains that the decision is tentative.
“Unfortunately, I cannot tell you much. I found out about the announcement on Twitter and that is unfortunate because I think a company that has been of such longstanding in our community would notify the Office of the Mayor,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
The city says they will push Rexnord to keep the jobs in Indianapolis and tell us the Carrier Task Force will help with job training for the potentially 350 displaced workers, if needed. A Rexnord spokesperson says the company wants an “open and frank discussion” and about the “potential” relocation and impact.
“They are human beings that live in communities and pay their taxes and now due to no fault of their own they are going to have to lose their livelihood. It is really a shame that corporations are allowed to just pull out and leave this country and then bring their product back in here,” said Jones.
Monday morning, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett will meet with his Carrier Task Force, which is mean to help the 1,400 displaced workers from that company and begin discussions about how they can help these new employees from Rexnord Bearings.