INDIANAPOLIS -- The first wave of 300 workers to leave or be laid off at Indianapolis’ Carrier plant clocked in for their last time on Thursday.
The company announced in February 2016 that it would be moving roughly 1,400 jobs from their west side manufacturing plant to Monterrey, Mexico, citing the ability to save money through lower wages. Call 6 Investigates found some Mexican wages as low as $3 per hour without benefits, and $6 per hour with benefits.
Some of those leaving will be taking advantage of retirement or voluntary early separation deals, but many will simply be laid off.
The company announced earlier this year that dozens of employees applied for voluntary separation which includes a severance package that was worked out last year between Carrier and the United Steel Workers Union. The package will include one week of pay for every year of employment, a $2,500 payout and medical coverage for six months after their separation begins.
Despite the layoffs, a deal orchestrated by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence between the state of Indiana and Carrier will keep more than 1,000 people employed at their west side plant.
WATCH | Moving to Mexico
Under the $7 million agreement, Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies, will also be investing $16 million in their Indianapolis plant.
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Carrier issued a statement Wednesday saying that they will continue to honor that commitment.
Carrier continues to honor it's 2016 commitment to employ approximately 1,100 associates in Indianapolis. As announced in November, this includes headquarters and engineering jobs and more than 800 employees supporting our world-class gas furnace manufacturing center.
This week, approximately 300 employees will leave Carrier as part of the previously announced plan to relocate fan coil manufacturing production lines. These team members include more than 30 associates who have chosen to take advantage of the company’s Employee Scholar Program and pursue degree programs. In addition to reimbursing four-year education costs, Carrier will also reimburse technical training costs for those who prefer to pursue a vocational technical certification program. All team members will also receive a one-time payment, severance pay and six months of medical insurance continuation beyond separation.
As previously announced, in total, this transition will impact approximately 600 Indianapolis jobs over the next several months. The impacted employees will have an opportunity for employment across UTC’s manufacturing operations.
United Technologies, the parent company to Carrier, announced in June that over the next three years it expects to hire nearly 25,000 people in the U.S., of which more than 5,000 new positions will be created in support of the company’s innovative new products.
The second wave of layoffs will begin 3 days before Christmas.The company's union representatives say 281 more jobs will be let go on December 22.
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