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Carrier employees cautiously optimistic about new deal

Posted at 8:19 AM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 10:31:15-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Workers at Carrier and plants similar to it are waiting with cautious optimism to hear the details of the deal that President-elect Donald Trump was able to strike with the west side factory.

Those details will be announced in full at 2 p.m., but until then, employees we spoke to are excited, but unsure of what's next.

"I'm still worried about, is there a pay cut, or, you know, if we have to give anything up," said Julie Meadows, a current Carrier employee who is facing layoffs.

CARRIER STATEMENT | Deal will benefit workers, us and state

T.J. Bray, a union steward at Carrier, couldn't believe the news that his job could be saved, but is curious to learn the details.

"A lot of people are asking if we're going to be taking pay cuts," Bray said.

Larry Linville, 70, is the longest tenured Carrier employee. He is overjoyed that he and many of his co-workers will have secure jobs, and while he is close to retirement, he said he wants to work a little longer, depending on the details of this agreement.

"It's a relief, for many of the younger people I'm glad for them, it just depends on what happens whether I stay or go," Linville said.

TIMELINE | How we got to the Carrier deal

Terri Cook has worked at the Rexnord plant for 17 years, a company that is also going to ship jobs to Mexico in the coming years. 

"It depends on the severance, whether I can retire," Cook said. "Hopefully I can get a job at Carrier if they keep Carrier."

Cook is hopeful the deal with Carrier sets a precedent.

"I'm just very hopeful that Trump can help us Rexnord employees out (too)," Cook said. 

RELATED | Rexnord makes it official, jobs will leave the state

But whether or not a precedent will be set is yet to be seen.

Dr. Toby Malichi, a free trade expert from Indianapolis and one of the men who worked on the original North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) deal said 

"(Jobs leaving for Mexico) is a trend that could continue on for many different reasons through free trade agreements," Dr. Malichi said. "There are two other companies here in Indiana, according to Sen. (Joe) Donnelly, that are still thinking about taking their jobs outside of Indiana."

NAFTA has taken the brunt of blame for situations like Carrier, with some American-based businesses taking opportunities to make more money through lower wages in other count ires as part of the agreement.

President-elect Trump has been vocal in his opposition of NAFTA, even going so far as to say on the campaign trail that he would repeal it. 

Dr. Malichi offered the benefits NAFTA does provide, saying it benefits business owners to sell more products to more customers outside of the U.S.'s borders. 

"Because of free trade agreements, we've had an average of 18 percent higher salaries than other domestic jobs," Dr. Malichi said. 

RTV6 will live stream the 2 p.m. announcement at the Carrier plant with president-elect Trump and vice president-elect Mike Pence. You can watch it at or on our Facebook page.

FULL CARRIER COVERAGEDOCUMENTARY SERIES: Moving to Mexico with 1,400 of Indy's lost jobsJilted workers get first look at Carrier's offer | TIMELINE: Carrier to ship 1,400 jobs from Indiana to Mexico Trump made money off of Carrier in 2015 | Carrier president: More growth expected in '16 |Ex-Carrier employee sentenced for embezzlement | Carrier pay in Mexico questioned | Carrier refutes offer of $5.85/hour for workers to stay in Indy | Coats, Donnelly have 'disappointing' meeting with Carrier execs |  Sen. Donnelly: Carrier never cited federal regulations as reason for move | Union president: 'We're not going away quietly' | Carrier employees protest move at statehouse | Pence on Carrier meeting: 'I don't want to create any false hope for people'Moving to Mexico: What you need to know about Monterrey, Mexico | Moving to Mexico: On the ground in Monterrey, Mexico, where Carrier is moving Trump weights in on Carrier relocation to Mexico  | Carrier: Company did not receive $5M in federal stimulus funds  | President of United Steelworkers Union: No hope of saving 1,400 jobs  | Carrier employees, local businesses reel after announcement of move to Mexico  |WATCH: Employees react to news that Carrier is moving from Indy to Mexico