During Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign, he promised to save the jobs at the Indiana based heating air conditioner manufacturer, Carrier, from being shipped offshore. Trump bragged on Twitter in November 2016 that he cut a deal with the company to ensure jobs would stay in the United States. It didn’t take long for Trump to break that promise, including his claims that he would boost jobs and prevent companies from outsourcing jobs abroad.
Last week a round of layoffs at the Carrier factory in Indianapolis, Indiana took effect, in which about 215 people lost their jobs. These layoffs are in addition to the 340 jobs cut in July 2017. The factory’s 700 remaining production employees are expected to be outsourced to Mexico by the end of 2018. United Technologies, the company that owns Carrier, received over $2 billion in government contracts in 2017 while offshoring jobs to other countries.
“The pace of offshoring is three times greater by federal contractors under Donald Trump,” said Joseph Geevarghese, Executive Director of Good Jobs Nation, a labor coalition for low wage federal contract workers, in an interview with the Real News Network. “He campaigned to stop offshoring, yet one year in the office, he’s failed to use the power that he has to deliver on that promise.”
Trump and Republican leaders claim that the recently passed tax bill, which includes reducing corporate taxes from 35 percent to 21 percent, will lead to higher wages and more jobs, but these promises of trickle down economics have failed to deliver. Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest employer, announced on January 11, 2018 it would raise its company minimum wage from $10 an hour to $11 an hour, and provide bonuses of up to $1000 to full-time qualifying employees. Later on the same day, Wal-Mart announced it would abruptly shut down 63 Sam’s Club stores, laying off around 11,000 workers.
AT&T implemented a similar publicity distraction to show support for the corporate tax rate cut. The company announced in December 2017 it would give around 200,000 employees a bonus of $1000, crediting the bonus to Trump’s tax cut even though unions had already been in negotiation with the company for the bonuses. Shortly after the bonus announcement, AT&T released a three year plan to cut 10,000 jobs, laid off 600 employees around the country, and announced on January 11, 2018 an additional 4500 jobs they plan to cut.
“Before the tax bill, United Technologies got the money because we, the people, fund federal contracts. Now they have even more money because we have given them bigger tax breaks, and yet the Carrier layoffs continue,” Geevarghese said.