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Carrier releases official Indianapolis layoff numbers

May 22, 2017

More than a year after the shutdown announcement that landed Carrier Corp. in the national news and the crosshairs of presidential candidate Donald Trump, the manufacturer has finally released an official count of the number of jobs it plans to cut.

In a letter sent to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on Friday, Carrier says it expects 632 employees to lose their jobs when the company moves its fan coil production work elsewhere. Those jobs will go to a Carrier facility in Monterrey, Mexico.

“This action follows a thorough evaluation of our manufacturing operations and is intended to address the challenges the business faces in a rapidly changing industry,” Carrier Senior Human Resources Manager for Indianapolis Operations Steven Morris wrote in a letter to the state.

Morris’ letter is dated May 19, and the DWD posted it online Monday morning.

The first wave of layoffs, which includes 338 people, is expected to take place July 20. Four salaried employees will lose their jobs effective Oct. 1, and the final wave of 290 layoffs will take place on Dec. 22. 

Most of the affected employees are union workers who are represented by United Steelworkers Local 1999.

Carrier previously had said it expected about 600 layoffs. Estimated layoff totals typically change over time as some employees retire or resign and others are hired to help wind things down. 

That’s what’s happening here, said USW Local 1999 President Chuck Jones.

“They’ve hired some seasonal people to pick up part of the load to get the product out. That’s why the number is higher than previously broadcast,” Jones told IBJ.

Carrier originally planned to shift all of its Indianapolis production work to Mexico. That February 2016 announcement made big waves in the U.S. presidential campaign.

The move would have eliminated 1,400 positions locally, although Carrier wouldn’t have left Indianapolis completely. The company has another 269 research and headquarters positions in Indianapolis that were always slated to remain.

Based on that initial announcement, state and city officials clawed back a combined $1.6 million in previously awarded incentives for the company.

In late November, Carrier announced it had partially reversed course and would keep some production in Indianapolis after all. The reversal came after President-elect Donald Trump contacted Carrier and asked it to reconsider its plans. 

Trump visited the plant in December to celebrate the company's change of heart.

In March, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. approved a new package of Carrier incentives worth up to $7 million. 

The package includes up to $1 million in tax credits if Carrier invests $16 million in its Indianapolis facility, as well as a training grant of up to $1 million.

The remaining $5 million is in the form of a rarely used incentive—a tax credit for companies that pledge to retain existing jobs rather than create new ones. 

In order to receive the full retention credit, Carrier must retain 1,069 jobs in Indianapolis for the next 12 years. That number includes 800 positions associated with gas furnace manufacturing, plus the 269 research and headquarters jobs.

“The company committed to – and is still committed to – retaining the 1,069 jobs as discussed,” IEDC spokeswoman Abby Gras told IBJ on Monday.

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