Indianapolis, Ind. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly spoke with Chris Nelson, President of HVAC systems and services for North America at Carrier Corporation, and asked for an explanation of why Carrier Corporation and UTEC will be closing plants in Indianapolis and Huntington and moving those operations to Mexico. The announcement will result in the loss of more than 2,000 Hoosier jobs. Carrier and UTEC are part of United Technologies Corporation, which reported more than $6 billion in earnings in 2014, and ranks as the 45th-largest U.S. corporation according to Fortune.
Donnelly said, “I spoke with a Carrier executive to get answers about why a highly profitable company would move its operations to Mexico at the expense of hardworking Hoosiers’ jobs. We want these jobs to stay in Indiana, and we want to work with Carrier and UTEC to try find a way to move forward together for their success and for Hoosier workers who have given their heart and soul to Carrier and UTEC.”
On the call with Nelson, Donnelly expressed frustration at the announcement and asked for an explanation of Carrier’s decision-making process. Prompted by reports that the company had cited federal regulations as the reason for the closures, Donnelly asked Mr. Nelson to identify specific federal regulations that prompted Carrier’s announcement. Unable to cite a single federal regulation, Mr. Nelson identified the efficiency of lower production and labor costs in Mexico as the primary benefit from the move.
During an interview with WIBC 93.1 radio in Indianapolis last night, Donnelly discussed his conversation with Carrier, saying in part, “I said tell me what the federal regulation problems are…And at the end of the day it just was not true. There was not a single federal regulation they could assert that was any problem at all. What this is really about, is the difference, I think, in labor costs….It’s a crying shame.”
Donnelly also highlighted a $5.1 million federal tax credit that Carrier received from the Department of Energy in 2014 based upon the expectation that Carrier would utilize the credits to create jobs in America. Donnelly asked for that credit to be reimbursed to taxpayers.
Donnelly also expressed his concerns for Indiana’s middle class and the plan to send the jobs of Hoosiers working at Carrier and UTEC to Mexico when he questioned Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen during yesterday’s hearing in the Senate Banking Committee. That video can be seen by clicking HERE or on the image below.