On Tuesday, Florida-based HVAC manufacturer Carrier, which struck a highly-touted deal with now-President Trump in late November 2016 to keep jobs in the United States, announced it would be laying off more than 200 employees this coming January. The company previously laid off approximately 340 workers at its Indianapolis plant in July.
“As part of our previously announced plans to relocate fan coil manufacturing production lines from Indianapolis, approximately 215 employees will leave Carrier on Jan. 11, 2018. This is a change from the previously announced date in December,” a company spokesperson told ThinkProgress in an email statement. “More than 1,100 jobs remain at the Indianapolis facility in keeping with our 2016 commitment. Jan. 11 is the final separation date for employees impacted by the fan coil manufacturing transition. Fewer employees than expected have been impacted due to attrition.”
Officials noted that the company “expects to hire nearly 25,000 people” over the next three years and that 5,000 of those hires would be for newly-created positions.
In a previous statement released in June, United Technologies Corporation — Carrier’s parent company — said those who were laid off would receive “enhanced severance packages” as well as access to the company’s “Employee Scholar Program, which pays for four full years of education to develop new skills in a field of their choice.”
The latest round of layoffs has raised eyebrows due to the company’s existing agreement with the Trump administration to keep jobs at its Indianapolis location in exchange for various incentives.
Carrier first announced it would move its Indianapolis manufacturing plant to Mexico in February 2016, a decision that would have resulted in the loss of some 1,400 jobs. Trump attacked the decision on the 2016 campaign trail, claiming that, if elected, he would impose harsh import taxes on any products Carrier manufactured outside the country.
Shortly after his election victory in November that year, Trump claimed he was working with Carrier to keep those jobs in the United States. The two parties eventually struck a deal on November 29 that would award Carrier $7 million in state tax incentives and training grants, according to The Indianapolis Star. As part of the deal, Carrier promised to invest $16 million in its Indianapolis plant, a move many supporters — including Trump — claimed would create more jobs. Then-Gov. Mike Pence was tasked with carrying out the arrangement before leaving office to head to Washington.
However, the deal quickly fell short of expectations, and in May 2017, the company announced it was moving more than 600 jobs to Mexico regardless (the most recent round of layoffs is part of that outsourcing).
As it turned out, the original $16 million that Carrier had promised it would invest would actually be directed toward automation in the Indianapolis plant rather than jobs, something United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes himself admitted in December.
Members of the local steelworker’s union were quick to voice their dissatisfaction.
“The jobs are still leaving. Nothing has stopped,” Robert James, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, told CNBC. “I don’t see Carrier hiring anytime in the near future.”
Trump touted the Carrier deal as the ultimate example of his prowess as a deal-maker and job-creator anyway.
“Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences,” he said at a victory rally in December, three weeks after the election and days after the deal was struck. “It’s not gonna happen.”
Admitting that the $16 million investment would go toward automation and not jobs, he added, “United Technologies has stepped up. They’re going to spend so much money on renovating this plant.”
Adding future insult to injury, Trump bragged that he had saved some 1,100 jobs for Indianapolis residents and that many more would be added in the coming days under his deal.
“They’re going to have a great Christmas,” he said. “And by the way, that number is going to go up very substantially as they expand this area. So the 1,100 is going to be a minimum number.”
This article’s title has been updated to clarify the timeline of the layoffs.