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Union says no progress in reversing factory closing decision

February 16, 2016

A union leader said he'll try to put outside pressure on a company to reverse its decision to shut down a 1,400-worker factory in Indianapolis and move production to Mexico.

United Steelworkers Local 1999 president Chuck Jones said a meeting Wednesday with Carrier Corp. executives didn't make any progress toward stopping the move. Jones said the Indianapolis factory is profitable, but that Carrier plans to pay Mexican workers $3 an hour. The average wage for union members at the Indianapolis plant is about $23 an hour.

Carrier Corp. announced last week it planned to close the factory over a three-year period starting in 2017. Carrier parent United Technologies also announced plans to close a 700-worker plant in Huntington.

Carrier spokeswoman Michelle Caldwell said the company will discuss the move with union officials and continue offering education benefits to employees.

Jones said the union will ask businesses to stop buying Carrier products if the company goes ahead with the closure.

Most of Carrier's competitors also have plants in Mexico.

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