INDY STAR — When Carrier Corp. handed down the news it plans to close its facility on Indianapolis’ west side and move its operation to Mexico — eliminating 1,400 Hoosier jobs — Jarvis Hagger’s thoughts went to his 3-year-old son, Jarvion, and an unborn child.
“How am I going to be able to take care of my family?” Hagger thought to himself.
The 32-year-old Indianapolis resident’s job as a production leader is likely to be one of the first casualties of Carrier’s move. The company will begin laying off employees in 2017.
“It’s still all kind of surreal,” said Hagger, who has worked at Carrier for 13 years. “It’s like waking up to a bad dream; you never think it’s going to happen.”
Carrier, a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning manufacturer, announced last week that it was closing its facility, to the chagrin of its employees and local and state officials. Doubling down on that crippling blow, Huntington-based United Technologies Electronic Controls also announced it was moving to Mexico, eliminating 700 jobs in the northeastern Indiana city by 2018.
Both companies are units of Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies Corp., which is pulling a total of 2,100 jobs from the state.
“Overall, it’s total betrayal,” said Hagger, who is delaying his family’s plan to buy a new home. “Thirteen years I’ve given to this company, and at the drop of a dime — without talking to the people who have given more than I have — you move because of corporate greed?
“It wasn’t like the Indianapolis facility wasn’t profiting. It’s the greed of the company.”
Carrier would not detail the production or profitability of its Indianapolis operation. Its chief reason for moving to Mexico is to operate in a more cost-effective manner, the company said.
Carrier’s workers, who perform midrange manufacturing jobs, are in a two-tier wage system. About 25 percent make $14 an hour, or about $30,000 a year. The rest, however, make about $26 an hour, or about $55,000 a year. The higher-wage workers can earn more than $70,000 a year with overtime.
Carrier spokeswoman Michelle Caldwell declined to answer how much money the company will save by producing equipment in Monterrey, Mexico. The company has been mum on how much it will pay its Mexican workers.
The United Steelworkers, which represents Carrier’s workers, said the Mexican workers will earn $3 an hour, which is $23 less than some of the top-paid employees in Indianapolis.