INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — For Carrier employees like Robin Maynard, there aren’t enough adjectives to describe how the news of Tuesday night felt.
On Tuesday morning, Maynard, a 24-year employee with Carrier, thought there was little chance his job and 1,400 others would be able to be saved. The company announced in February that it would be sending the jobs across the border to Mexico.
All that changed with one tweet.
“We’re here to save our jobs so we’re excited about that,” Maynard said.
On Tuesday night, less than one week after President-elect Donald Trump announced he was working with Carrier to save the jobs from being shipped to Mexico. Carrier stunned employees and Hoosiers alike by announcing that nearly 1,000 jobs would be remaining at the Indianapolis manufacturing facility.
By Wednesday, the number of jobs saved had adjusted to “more than 1,000.”
“Today’s announcement is possible because the incoming Trump-Pence administration has emphasized to us its commitment to support the business community and create an improved, more competitive U.S. business climate. The incentives offered by the state were an important consideration,” a statement from Carrier read.
“This agreement in no way diminishes our belief in the benefits of free trade and that the forces of globalization will continue to require solutions for the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. and of American workers moving forward.”
“It means I don’t have to go out hitting the streets for a job, it means I can put my daughter through college and not have to worry through that,” Maynard said.
The exact details of the deal are still unknown, but for United Steelworkers Union President Chuck Jones, this is a big win. And perhaps a sign that President-Elect Trump may be sticking to his campaign promise to save American jobs.
“Well it’s awful encouraging without a doubt,” Jones said.
John Boyd, a site selection expert for manufacturing companies including Carriers parent company United Technologies, says this move may be one of the first indications of a trend that will see more manufacturing jobs stay or come back to the U.S. due in part to rising costs in Mexico and China, and a pro-business Trump administration.
“Trump wants to lower the corporate income tax, trump wants to reduce onerous environmental regulations making manufacturing more cost effective here in the states all of that should lead to more manufacturing here in the states,” Boyd said.
As for carrier, Boyd says keeping the jobs here may have just been their best marketing strategy yet.
“The savings is estimated to be $65 million with Mexico vs Indiana, that’s a small price to pay when you factor in the branding value for Carrier keeping jobs in America”
As for the workers, there are still hundreds of jobs still on the chopping block, and it’s still unclear which ones will be cut. Some say they plan on taking the company’s offer for college scholarships and move on once they get other jobs. Either way, many employees say the timing of the announcement couldn’t have come at a better time.
“It seem like it’s going to be a merry Christmas for most of us here, knowing that we can spend our money on our kids at Christmas and feel a little bit better about it, not worrying about our future,” said employee TJ Bray.
President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence are scheduled to be in Indianapolis on Thursday to discuss the deal. The two will tour the facility before speaking to employees.