Despite the endless ballyhooing of the Carrier job-saving deal that Trump and Pence have been touting as a win for Indianapolis’s blue-collar workers, just 800 actual jobs were saved, with a whopping 2100 being exported from Indiana to China and Mexico. As it turns out, some of those 800 jobs will be phased out, too—in favor of robots.
Think Progress reports that the $16 million Carrier promised the sodding durian husk we call president-elect will actually go towards automating the factory, as actually employing humans in the U.S.—where we have things like labor laws that protect workers’ rights—is just too darn expensive for the $12.5 billion company, which will receive $5 million in conditional tax credits from the Trump-Pence deal.
The company’s plans were confirmed by Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies, Carrier’s corporate parent, during a CNBC interview earlier this week.
“We’re going to… automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive,” Hayes said. “Is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we’ll make the capital investments there. But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs.”
This little fuck-you, as Think Progress points out, comes not long after Trump attacked Chuck Jones, who leads the steelworkers union that represents Carrier. Trump tweeted that Jones was doing a “terrible job” and disgustingly, laughably blamed him for “companies flee[ing] the country”; Trump’s specific targeting led to very specific death threats against Jones and his family.
Today, though, Jones doubled down for the workers like any good union leader would, telling the Indianapolis Star that those criticisms meant he was doing his job right:
“First of all, that means I’m doing, and we’re doing, as labor representatives, the best we can for the people to give them a living wage and good benefits,” Jones said. “No, what he says, that don’t bother me.”
On Thursday, Jones wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, noting that the concessions Carrier wanted the union to make in order to save their jobs would have required them to work for $5/an hour with no benefits:
When I met with Carrier officials last Thursday, I realized that that wouldn’t be the case. Though Trump said he’d saved 1,100 jobs, he hadn’t. Carrier told us that 550 people would get laid off.
Trump didn’t tell people that, though. When he spoke at our plant, he acted like no one was going to lose their job. People went crazy for him. They thought, because of Trump, I’m going to be able to provide for my family.
All the while, I’m sitting there, thinking that’s not what the damn numbers say. Trump let people believe that they were going to have a livelihood in that facility. He let people breathe easy. When I told our members the next day, they were devastated.
Jones wrote about some of the death threats he’s gotten since the president-elect, who not only lied to his constituents but cruelly gave them false hope in the interest of massaging his own ego, then blamed them for losing their jobs.
And now, insult upon injury, Carrier will automate at least some of the jobs thought to be “saved.” Think Progress:
While the timing remains unclear, Jones said on Thursday that he expects cuts beyond the 550 layoffs that will happen in spite of Trump’s deal.
“Automation means less people,” he said during a CNN interview. “I think we’ll have a reduction of workforce at some point in time once they get all the automation in and up and running.”
The whole scenario represents the words and actions of the truly evil. And he’s not even president yet.