Sanders, Trump give union hope in fight for Carrier jobs

jueves 18 de febrero de 2016 17:46 GYT

By Nick Carey

INDIANAPOLIS Feb 18 (Reuters) - Duane Oreskowic was speechless when he learned last week that his job would be one of 1,400 lost when his employer, Carrier Corp, moved production to Mexico, but he has found his voice again since finding out Bernie Sanders is interested in his plight.

"I am a big-time Sanders fan and I hope he can help us," said the 37-year-old assembly specialist. "But even if he can't, maybe we can stop this happening to other American workers."

The Feb. 9 announcement by United Technologies Corp's Carrier unit that it would shift production to Mexico from Indianapolis has thrust the long-term trend of U.S. manufacturing job decline to the foreground of the nation's election year agenda.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump seized on the announcement to amplify his position that companies such as Carrier should be taxed if they send jobs to low wage countries.

Democratic candidate Sanders called Carrier, a maker of air conditioners, an "example of how NAFTA and other trade policies have been a disaster for American workers."

Communities around Indianapolis have witnessed a steady outflow of factory jobs over the past two decades. What made this action different was a Youtube video of the workers getting the news that by Thursday afternoon had more than 3.4 million views, and the political reaction to it.

"I came here 30 years ago looking for the American dream," said Hatice Lancaster, 51, originally from Turkey. "Maybe I should have gone to Mexico instead."

Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents the Carrier workers, says he hopes to use the attention to force Carrier to reverse its decision.   Continuación...