Monday, June 26, 2017

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

The Trump Way.

Following up on that AP article laying out some of the many things Trump has claimed to have accomplished when he hasn't, here's another on. Remember the great Carrier deal?

The incoming Trump Administration and United Technologies (UTX) have reached an agreement that will keep close to 1,000 jobs at Carrier Corp., which is owned by UTX, in Indiana.

Carrier had planned to move production from a key factory in that state to Mexico, taking with it the roughly 1,400 jobs of those who work at the Indiana plant.


Under a deal negotiated by Vice President-elect Mike Pence and UTX CEO Greg Hayes, the company will now keep most of those jobs in Indiana, sources close to the matter told CNBC.

While terms of the deal are not yet clear, the sources indicated there were new incentives on offer from the state of Indiana, where Pence is governor, that helped clear a path for the agreement.

Fast forward:
More than 600 employees at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis are bracing for layoffs beginning next month, despite being told by President Trump that nearly all the jobs at the plant had been saved. The deal, announced with great fanfare before Trump took office, was billed not only as a heroic move to keep jobs from going to Mexico but also as a seismic shift in the economic development landscape.

Nearly seven months later the deal has not worked out quite as originally advertised, and the landscape has barely budged.

"The jobs are still leaving," said Robert James, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999. "Nothing has stopped."


The agreement does guarantee that Carrier, a unit of United Technologies Corp., will continue to employ at least 1,069 people at the Indianapolis plant for 10 years in exchange for up to $7 million in incentives. In addition, the company has promised to invest $16 million in the facility.

But fewer than 800 of those 1,069 jobs — 730 to be exact — are the manufacturing jobs that were always at the heart of the debate. The rest are engineering and technical jobs that were never scheduled to be cut.


As for Trump's claim that the $16 million investment in the plant would add jobs, United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told CNBC in December that the money would go toward more automation in the factory and ultimately would result in fewer jobs.


Hayes said the laid-off workers would be offered jobs at other factories across the country.

"We're going to be hiring something like 5,000 people this year," he said.

But union officials say they have heard nothing from the company about any job offers elsewhere within the company. All they have received is the official notice, as required by federal law, that the first round of cuts — 338 jobs — will take place on July 20, with an additional 290 employees terminated on Dec. 22, three days before Christmas.


[E]xperts, business leaders and economic development officials agree very little has changed since then. Ford announced this week that production for its next-generation Focus is being moved out of Kentucky, and will be going to one of Ford's existing plants in China. Trump took credit when Ford announced earlier this year that a factory planned for Mexico to build the car was being canceled.


"If companies know they can do it and get money that's laying around on tables, money that's there for the taking, that hurts the tax base," said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a nonprofit Washington, D.C., watchdog group that is critical of state subsidies to business.

LeRoy estimates state and local governments are spending at least $70 billion a year on incentives. He says the money states are spending to lure companies like Carrier and others could be better spent on schools, infrastructure, training "and all the things that really do grow the economy over the long run, because they benefit all employers, not just those few that can game the system."

This, apparently, is the way things are going to go. He's going to lurch from photo op to rally to photo op, proclaim victory over something, celebrate his own greatness, and then move on to whatever the next thing is. It's the George Aiken Victory In Vietnam strategy toward governing the entire country: Declare victory and then get out. Nothing is real, except in the immediate moment, when the cameras are hot and the ovations, rapturous. Actual results are irrelevant. Carrier didn't count at the very moment he went wheels up in Indianapolis.

  Charles P Pierce
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

UPDATE 1/12/18:  Still laying people off

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