United Steel Workers Union believes more manufacturing companies will pull out of Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Hundreds of Indianapolis workers are preparing to lose their manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Now, the Steel Workers Union tells us they believe the pattern of manufacturers leaving Indiana may continue.
“This is basically the same thing as Carrier. Rexnord, like Carrier, was a very profitable company; they produced very good and quality products. It was not due to bad quality or not being profitable. It is over corporate greed…pure and simple,” said United Steel Workers Local 1999 Union President Chuck Jones.
Jones believes it is just a matter of time before other local manufacturing companies pull out of the city and open facilities in Mexico or other countries. Last week, Rexnord Bearings announced plans to move hundreds of jobs to Mexico, where they can save millions of dollars on cheaper labor. According to Union workers, the companies can pay people $3 an hour for the same work employees are doing locally for around $24 an hour.
“We are never going to be able to compete with places like Mexico for wage rates. So, if Rexnord decided to leave then we will begin the process of skill development and workforce development so we can find good paying and quality jobs for those families that have been adversely impacted,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
The City of Indianapolis says they will push Rexnord to keep the jobs in the city, with a similar approach that they tried with Carrier.
“We will certainly do everything that we can to encourage Rexnord to keep the jobs in Indianapolis. It that is unsuccessful like the Carrier conversations were, then our task force will begin the process of helping the families rebuild their lives,” said Mayor Hogsett.
Ten major manufacturing companies in Marion County are currently part of the Steel Workers Union; including Carrier, Rexnord, Sonco, BO, and Diamond Chain. The Steel Workers Union tells us the pattern of companies moving out of the country will continue. They just do not know which company will leave next.
“I think that it is simply a decision made by the company that perhaps the cost of labor is going to be cheaper. They may not have to give the same amount of benefits to their workers,” said Mayor Hogsett.
Mayor Hogsett was set to meet with the Carrier Task Force to develop a plan to help the workers. A Rexnord spokesperson says the company wants an “open and frank discussion” about the “potential” relocation and impact of moving to Mexico.