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."
In fact, after the layoffs are complete later this year, a few hundred union jobs will remain at the plant. But that is far different from what then-President-elect Trump said just three weeks after the election.
"They're going to have a great Christmas," Trump said to cheering steelworkers and local dignitaries on Dec. 1. The plan to close the plant and lay off 1,400 workers had become a frequent topic in the Trump campaign. He said 1,100 jobs would stay in Indianapolis, thanks to the deal.
"And by the way, that number is going to go up very substantially as they expand this area," he said. "So the 1,100 is going to be a minimum number."
But as in any deal, there are crucial details in the fine print.