It’s up to you to make sure United Technologies keeps its promise.
We have an update on what’s happening in the effort to fight back against offshoring in Indiana — and it’s clear we’ve got to keep up the pressure.
United Technologies promised last week to return nearly $1.6 million in incentives to local and state governments after it announced it will ship 2,100 middle class manufacturing jobs from Indiana to Mexico.
United Technologies officials met with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence last week to discuss the layoffs. At that meeting, the company agreed to reimburse the taxpayer funds, which include $1.2 million in tax abatements and $382,000 in training grants.
Unfortunately, it looks like the jobs are still headed to Mexico. “I don’t want to create false hope. I wouldn’t say I came away from the meeting more hopeful than I went in,” Pence said after the meeting.
Two United Technologies companies are involved in the layoffs — Carrier is laying off about 1,400 workers in the Hoosier State, while United Technologies Electronic Controls is laying off an additional 700 Indiana workers. About 400 research and development jobs will remain in Indiana.
Shortly after the layoffs were announced in February, it emerged that United Technologies had taken millions of dollars in taxpayer incentives for its Indiana operations. Pence and others — including nearly 5,000 Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) supporters — immediately called on United Technologies to reconsider the layoffs — but if not, return the taxpayer money.
Following the meeting with the governor, United Technologies blamed “the continued migration of Carrier’s suppliers and competitors to Mexico” and “evolving regulatory requirements and standards” for the layoffs.
Not everyone is buying the argument, including Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, who said the company “told me it will still be subject to the same exact regulations in Mexico if the company intends to continue selling products in the U.S.”
Our own Mike Mitchell sent an email to AAM supporters on Monday morning urging them to continue to pressure United Technologies to do the right thing. He pointed out that the company made $6.2 billion in profit in 2014.
“I think corporate greed is to blame. Wages in Mexico are lower in Indiana — $3 an hour there versus about $20 an hour in Indiana,” Mitchell wrote. “The company is offshoring production of its furnaces so it can pay workers less, and then it wants to turn around and try to sell those furnaces to Americans. That’s not right.”