Popular Mechines pays a visit to the company that former Indiana Governor and now Vice President joined Donald Trump in annoucing to all that could see that Carrier, located in Pence’s home state, would be keeping jobs from going to Mexico under the Trump Admin’s push for keeping jobs in America….
THAT is not what has come to be out there….
When a large company decides it just can’t go on another day manufacturing its goods in the U.S. of A., things get messy. The company comes up with a plan, and they announce it with euphemistic corporate-speak (“separations,” not “layoffs”), and they try to execute it with no fanfare. It happens all the time. Only this one got caught in the political crosshairs of a presidential election, in part because you had an incoming president who wanted to make “Made in the U.S.A.” one of his stumpable causes, and his vice president happened to be the outgoing governor of the state of Indiana, and the Carrier stuff was all going down right about then—so, they picked it. Made a spectacle, announced that they had stepped in and said “No way!” and saved the jobs.
That was late 2016, early 2017. It’s now early summer 2018. What do things look like there on South Girls School Road, and in the rest of the small universe these layoffs have touched?
Be clear: There are still jobs at the fan-coil assembly plant in Indianapolis. The workers who survived the layoffs, the senior-most members of Carrier’s Indianapolis assembly process, are there. These are the jobs President Trump claims to have saved. About 700. “There were five production lines there before the announcement,” the local union head says. “There are three now.”
image…Susan Cropper[ Worked as a: Pace line assembler, electronic controls] stands outside a restaurant in Gas City, Indiana. She has two master’s degrees. “Hell yes, we have skills,” she says. She left Carrier shortly before this interview and has now been unemployed for two and a half months.
Here’s what the situation is in Mexico, where Carrier HAS moved some of the jobs Trump and Pence said the company wouldn’t….
A group of Carrier workers sits in a roadside lunch tent, eating pork tacos. They wear the company logo on their chest. Follow one of the public buses that a group of workers take to their homes, and you come to the expansive, cement village of García, where the Saturday flea market is set up alongside a fenced arroyo. Many Mexicans are outside, selling clothes, kitchen items, shoes, work gloves, rolls of paper towels, and the like at folding tables. At one table, a woman says her brother has worked at Carrier for several months. He loves the job, she says. They hold on to people.
According to Robert James, Carrier informed the Steelworkers union that the average Carrier worker in Monterrey makes about $3 an hour, plus some associated benefits and production bonuses, many of which commence after 11 months of continuous employment. The most common official estimate of the pay package to these workers is nearly $6 an hour, inclusive. The pay at the time of the shutdown announcement at Carrier in Indianapolis was $20.31, according to James, with benefits pushing the total compensation to $36 an hour.
Some Mexican workers are nonplussed by the wages reported at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis. They realize it is several times the scale of pay in Monterrey, but they are fuzzy on the specifics. “Clothing costs so much in the United States,” one worker at Cemex, a cement plant that quarries in the Monterrey valley, says. “And food. When I hear the numbers, so much, so much dollars, I feel they must fear for their jobs more than we do. It scares the heart, you know?”…
Wiould these ‘left behind workers ‘ vote for Trump again?