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Carrier execs to meet with union leaders Tuesday

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Union leaders will meet Tuesday morning with Carrier executives to discuss the future of 1,400 workers slated to lose their jobs. The heating and air conditioning company announced plans last week to move its Indianapolis operation to Mexico.

United Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones said his No. 1 goal for the meeting is an unlikely one: convince Carrier to stay.

Jones said he’ll also be asking questions to find out exactly why Carrier is leaving, despite being awarded $5.1 million in federal funds in 2013 to expand its Indianapolis operation.

The company president said the move will be cost effective. Carrier worker Frank Staples used a different phrase.

“Corporate greed,” Staples said of the move. “I’ve worked hard over the years for this company and they don’t care.”

United Steelworkers Local 1999 members suspect Carrier and other companies leave the U.S. due to weak trade laws.

Congressman Andre Carson (D) said Monday he’ll fight to create laws that penalize companies for moving jobs outside the U.S.

“We need to tighten our trade policies,” Carson said. “They build their institutions off the backs of hardworking Americans and when they see an opportunity, they move overseas. It has to stop.”

Carson said Carrier employees will qualify for federal assistance as they look for new jobs. Carrier officials said the company will also pay for the college tuition of outgoing employees.

Sen. Joe Donnelly said he’s asked Carrier officials to reimburse taxpayers for the $5.1 million the company received in stimulus money.

Gov. Mike Pence said state leaders are also reviewing any incentive contracts with Carrier and looking into option to recover taxpayer investments.

The meeting between union leaders and Carrier executives is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.