Carrier, UTEC Parent to Pay Back Some Breaks, Keep 400 Jobs

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UTC Climate, Controls & Security President Robert McDonough (left) talked with Governor Pence Wednesday. UTC Climate, Controls & Security President Robert McDonough (left) talked with Governor Pence Wednesday.
INDIANAPOLIS -

The office of Governor Mike Pence says, in addition to maintaining 400 jobs between its two Indiana subsidiaries, Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) will return $1.2 million in tax abatement to the Metropolitan Development Commission in Indianapolis. The company announced plans last month to relocate manufacturing operations from Carrier Corp. in Indianapolis and Huntington-based United Technologies Electronic Controls Inc. to Mexico. During a meeting Wednesday with officials including UTC Climate, Controls & Security President Robert McDonough, Pence said the company also agreed to return $382,000 in state training grants.

When plans were initially unveiled, they called for 2,100 Indiana workers to lose their jobs during the next few years, though UTC said it would maintain a presence in both cities.

As McDonough was leaving the meeting, our partners at WTHR-TV in Indianapolis asked if there was any chance of keeping the jobs in Indiana that were expected to be lost. McDonough didn't answer. He did say "we had really good discussions on a whole range of topics, it'd be hard to characterize all of it, but I feel good coming out of the meeting."

Pence characterized the discussion as "frank and productive." He said the company emphasized that the decision has nothing to do with the business environment. Pence says the company discussed its frustration with a "rising tide of red tape coming out of Washington D.C." and that more than 50 new rules affecting the heating and air conditioning industry have been created over the last two years.

The House approved an amendment Tuesday to Senate Bill 308 that would require companies receiving some tax breaks and leaving the state to pay back those incentives. Representative Karlee Macer (D-92) authored the amendment and said more than 1,400 people at the plant in her district will be out of work "just so the company can squeeze some more profits from its operations, either by using cheaper labor or machines. I know many of the men and women whose lives and families will be permanently disrupted by this decision. They want to know why it happened. More importantly, they want to know what can be done to keep this from happening again." The amended bill still needs to receive a final vote in the House before returning to the Senate.

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