Fresh off his recent victory in convincing Carrier to save 1,000 jobs from going to Mexico, Donald Trump has now set his sights on another Indiana manufacturing company that is set to eliminate 300 positions within the next year.
Rexnord, a Milwaukee based company that manufactures industrial bearings, had announced in October that they are moving 300 production jobs from Indianapolis to Mexico. A week prior to their announcement, the company had the presence of mind to install surveillance cameras around their plant, claiming they were for security reason, yet employees realize that they were taking measures to prevent a possible backlash when announcing their closure.
Workers knew something was amiss when the security cameras were installed last weekend.
When Rexnord Corp. began calling its 295 Indianapolis employees into meetings Friday, their worst suspicions were realized. The Milwaukee industrial supplier announced plans to move its west-side bearings plant’s operations to Mexico in April.
“They put cameras up last weekend, and they told us it was just for security reasons,” said Don Zering, a 43-year Rexnord employee and union president. “We think they lied to us. It was because they knew they were going to close the plant” and wanted surveillance in place.
Union officials learned the news first, starting at 1:30 p.m. Then Rexnord officials told the remaining employees and sent everyone home, clearing the plant. The company cited labor costs.
Long time employees of Rexnord felt a certain level of callousness in the company’s closure announcement, and on November 11th, they started to protest the decision by executives to close up shop and move to Mexico.
More than 50 employees of Rexnord Corp. gathered outside the company’s west-side location Friday afternoon to protest its decision to move the bearings plant’s 295 jobs to Mexico.
Holding signs that read “Make it in America,” the crowd garnered honks of support from motorists passing by the facility at 7601 Rockville Road.
“Once again, this is the same as the Carrier situation, where a company has been very profitable and produced a good quality product and because of corporate greed and unfair trade, these jobs are moving to Monterrey, Mexico, the same city that Carrier is moving to,” said Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents the Rexnord workers who will lose their jobs.
Employees compared Rexnord’s decision to Carrier Air Conditioners, which Donald Trump prevented from sending over 1,000 jobs to Mexico last week, since both companies are extremely profitable with their US operations.
Indeed, like Carrier, Rexnord actually increased their profits to $24.6 million last quarter from $22.6 million during the same time period last year. Their CEO, Rodd Adams, received over $1.5 million in compensation during their fiscal year, only about half of that being his actual salary.
Chuck Jones, president of the United Steel Workers Union, represents workers at both Carrier and Rexnord. He stated that their decision to move 300 American jobs to Mexico was “corporate greed” since “the company was very profitable” already.
The recent plight of these Rexnord employees appears to have caught the attention of President-elect Donald Trump, as he tweeted on Friday evening that he would make saving these jobs would be his next target, after his success with Carrier.
Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2016
According to The Wall Street Journal, Rexnord claims it will save $15.5 million during its first year after moving to Mexico, and that savings will increase by $200,000 a year moving forward. It’s difficult for American workers to compete with $3/hour employees in Mexico, Chuck Jones said.
However, that didn’t stop Donald Trump from convincing Carrier to keep their production plant in Indiana, but motivating Rexnord may prove more challenging. Trump prides himself on his negotiating skills and placing a higher value on American jobs than increasing the earnings of an already very profitable business. Regardless of the challenges, Rexnord employees have some hope now, as Carrier’s workers reported that “morale went through the roof” after Trump managed to save their jobs last week.
I have no doubt that if Donald Trump manages to save yet another manufacturing plant from moving to Mexico, before he’s even officially sworn in as president, there will be no shortage of liberal detractors ready to explain to the public why saving American jobs is somehow bad for America.
I don’t know about bad for America, but it’s certainly bad for Mexico and globalist influence.