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Carrier Union Leader: Spat With Trump ‘No Big Deal’

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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Carrier’s union president said that his recent spat with President-elect Donald Trump is “no big deal,” and further added that Trump could take credit for saving (at least) 800 jobs at an Indianapolis-based Carrier air conditioning plant.

Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, held a press conference Friday morning in an effort to downplay his spat with the president-elect, as well as to highlight continued negotiations over jobs still at risk of being outsourced to Mexico.

“If Trump is sincerely about keeping jobs in this country, we’ll sit down with him,” Jones said at the press conference Friday according to Kevin Rader of WTHR.

During the press conference with union leaders, Jones discussed Rexnord Corp., a Milwaukee-based industrial supplies company that is moving 300 jobs from Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico because of what Jones described as “corporate greed and unfair trade.”

Jones also highlighted a United Technologies plant in Huntington, Indiana that is planning to move 700 jobs to Mexico. The electronic controls factory employees are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and Jones said they stand with their IBEW brothers and sisters.

Jones appreciated the additional media attention focusing on the outsourced jobs, and re-iterated that the Trump spat was “no big deal,” according to Vic Ryckaert of the Indianapolis Star.

The local union president representing employees at Carrier previously accused the president-elect of inflating the number of jobs he saved from being outsourced to Mexico, the genesis of the initial “spat.”

“Trump and Pence, they pulled a dog and pony show on the numbers,” Jones told the Washington Post Tuesday.

Jones, who supported Clinton as a “lesser of two evils,” accused the president-elect of lying when he visited the plant Dec 1. “He got up there, and, for whatever reason, lied his ass off,” Jones said of Trump’s visit.

The president-elect responded to Jones accusations via Twitter Wednesday evening:

Trump also hit back at the Union, suggesting that they spend more time working on saving American jobs, and less time “talking.” The president-elect also suggested that they lower union dues:

Voters overwhelmingly support Trump’s deal with Carrier, which kept about 1,000 manufacturing jobs in Indiana instead of moving them to Mexico, according to Politico. The company is slated to receive $7 million in tax credits from Indiana, to be paid over ten years. Carrier agreed to invest $16 million in the state of Indiana.

Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence visited the Carrier facility Dec. 1, where he outlined a portion of his vision on how to protect American jobs. “United Technologies really stepped up,” Trump said to workers and reporters at the plant last week. “Companies are not going to leave anymore without consequences,” he continued. (RELATED: Trump Visits Carrier, Vows Companies That Leave Will Face Consequences)

“We are going to be lowering our business taxes from 35 percent, hopefully to 15 percent. The other thing that we are doing, is regulations,” he explained last week.

Jones vowed that the union would continue to fight for the jobs that are still slated to move to Mexico.

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