Union Leader: 'We Can't Get There' With Carrier Corp.

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(Image courtesy of Carrier Corp.) (Image courtesy of Carrier Corp.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

A local union official says Carrier Corp.'s decision to relocate an Indianapolis operation employing 1,400 Hoosiers to Mexico is based on cheaper labor. United Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones tells our partners at WTHR-TV Carrier can pay workers between $3 and $6 per hour in Mexico, compared to an average wage in Indiana of around $20 per hour. Jones met Tuesday in a closed-door meeting with the company and says the union will have to focus on pressuring suppliers to not purchase Carrier furnaces.

He says the decision appears final, "because of the wage differential, we can't get there." He continues "we've been able to save jobs in the past for companies that are not profitable, but this facility is profitable. There's no way we can get anything. Even if we get tax abatements and everything else, that would be able to keep them competitive, in their opinion, and keep them here, what we're going to do now try to put as much pressure as we can through suppliers that are saying, 'if you go on with the move, they aren't going to purchase Carrier furnaces.'"

WTHR-TV reports a supplier in Madison County has already announced a boycott of Carrier during the remaining production time in Indianapolis.

Carrier's parent company, Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp.'s (NYSE: UTX), detailed the plans last week along with a timeline for relocating manufacturing from its Huntington-based United Technologies Electronic Controls Inc. center to Mexico.

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