Speaking at a United Steelworkers rally outside the Indiana Statehouse on Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders lambasted United Technologies’ decision to outsource 1,400 U.S. jobs to Mexico. Despite the fact that United Technologies recently posted larger earnings and revenue than expected, roughly 2,100 employees in Indiana are expected to lose their jobs to foreign labor willing to work $3/hour.
“I intend to do everything I can to prevent United Technologies from shutting down their plants in Indianapolis and Huntington from throwing 2,100 American workers out on the street and moving to Monterey, Mexico, where they’re gonna pay people there three dollars an hour,” Sanders asserted on Friday.
Earlier this year, United Technologies announced plans to shut down its Carrier Corp factory in Indianapolis and outsource 1,400 U.S. jobs next year to Monterey, Mexico, where workers will only receive $3/hour. United Technologies is also expected to layoff another 700 employees in Huntington, Indiana, where the parent company is closing a facility.
“Today we are sending a very loud and clear message to the CEO of United Technologies: Stop the greed. Stop destroying the middle class in America. Respect your workers. Respect the American people,” Sanders announced to the crowd of protesting workers.
In 2014, United Technologies provided its retired CEO, Louis Schenevert, a golden parachute of $172 million along with a pension worth $31 million. Making a profit of more than $7 billion last year, United Technologies also received $6 billion in defense contracts.
While receiving more than $58 million in corporate welfare from the Export-Import Bank, United Technologies also received nearly $530,000 of Indiana taxpayer money in training grants. Despite the fact that United Technologies recently posted more revenue than expected, totaling $13.357 billion for the quarter, roughly 2,100 Indiana employees will lose their jobs in an attempt for the company to “stay competitive and protect the business.”
“Look around Indiana and you will find once vibrant and strong manufacturing towns like Gary, South Bend, Muncie, Bloomington, Indianapolis and Evansville shattered by abandoned factories, shut down steel mills, sky-high poverty rates, and foreclosed homes,” Sanders observed. “You do not have to have a PhD in economics to understand that our unfettered free trade policies have failed. We need new trade policies in this country, policies that are designed to protect the interests of American workers, not just the compensation-packages of corporate CEOs.”
Singling out United Technologies, Sanders also noted that the layoffs in Indiana have been happening across the nation over the last 35 years with no end in sight. Since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, Indiana alone has lost 113,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs. Although Sanders fought against the NAFTA and other disastrous trade agreements, Hillary Clinton staunchly supported their passage.
“It is not acceptable to me that today the top one tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent,” Sanders declared. “We need a political revolution. We need millions of Americans to begin to stand up and fight back and demand a government that represents all of us.
“And if we stand together, men and women, gay and straight, black, white, Latino, Asian, and Native American, and say loudly and clearly that enough is enough! That this country belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.”