Union rep: 700 Indiana jobs likely not part of Carrier deal

(Photo: WANE)
UTEC plant

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) – A deal that will keep a thousand jobs in Indiana will not impact the workers in Huntington. President-elect Donald Trump struck that deal with Carrier Tuesday after pledging to keep jobs in Indianapolis that were supposed to move to Mexico. It looks like that won’t be the case for United Technologies Electronic Controls in Huntington. At this point, those jobs are still slated to go to Mexico.

Bill Davis, president of the local electric workers union in Huntington, saw the news that Carrier will keep 1,000 jobs in Indianapolis when he got up for work at UTEC Wednesday morning.

“I just got sick to my stomach,” Davis said. “I could detect that they were just working on keeping the jobs in Indianapolis.”

The same morning Davis heard from the international union rep who spoke with corporate.

“He told us that the individual he talked to said it was just doom and gloom that our facility was going to move,” Davis said.

Earlier this year Carrier and UTEC announced they would be moving operations to Mexico. Both companies are owned by United Technologies. The Huntington plant makes the microprocessor controls for air-conditioning, heating and refrigeration systems.

Trump ran a lot of his campaign on saving the 1,000 Carrier jobs — by threatening it with 35% tariffs on air-conditioners built in Mexico shipped to the United States — but there wasn’t much mention on the 700 jobs at UTEC.

“His whole campaign was focused on Indy,” UTEC employee Mike Harmon said. “I never heard one thing about the Huntington plant. So yeah we do feel forgotten.”

“If the business was hurting profit wise [it would make sense to close], but it’s not,” Davis said. “It’s profiting very well. How can they just jerk these jobs out from underneath our feet and do this to us?”

It’s being reported Trump will talk about the deal Thursday in Indianapolis, which Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters hopes will bring some good news to the city. He said the loss of the plant will have a regional impact.

“Maybe 30 percent of those 700 workers are from Huntington and Huntington County,” Fetters (R) said. “The rest are from Wabash, Grant County, Whitley County.”

Four union members and UTEC employees spoke with WANE-TV. When asked what is causing the move all four said “corporate greed” in unison.

“[Employees] were at a point that they knew they were going to lose their jobs,” Davis said “[The Carrier announcement] comes out so it heightens their hope, and then it’s going to get plummeted again. It’s just not right.”

Davis wants to be at Trump’s speech to deliver him a message.

“Come to our facility, call us, talk to us,” he said. “Can you give us any type of hope at all?”

Originally published by our Media General sister station in Fort Wayne, Indiana, WANE-TV

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