Rexnord workers plan rally to keep jobs in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Rexnord workers will rally Thursday to keep their jobs, just weeks before they are set to lose them. Rexnord plans to close its Indianapolis facility and move about 300 jobs to Mexico.

The rally is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Organizers told 24-Hour News 8 they’re hoping to catch Pres. Donald Trump’s attention.

According to the United Steelworkers Local 1999 leaders, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett will be at the event. Organizers also said U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will call into the rally, speak to the crowd and taking questions.

Don Zering, president of United Steelworkers unit at Rexnord, said it looks like layoffs will begin in early March. Now the union is working with Rexnord employees to make sure they understand their severance packages, find new jobs or get additional training. Zering said he isn’t only thinking of the 300 workers set to lose their jobs, but also their families.

“That’s where it’s going to be devastating at, is the family itself. The man will find a job hopefully. It’s going to be less money probably, but the kids are the ones that are going to pay for all this — not the grown ups,” Zering said.

Workers say the fact that Carrier decided to keep some jobs in Indianapolis gave them some confidence in Trump, but they’re worried their situation will be different. They say Carrier caught everyone’s attention because 1,400 jobs were at stake, while at Rexnord it’s only 300 jobs moving to Mexico. Zering said it’s also difficult to gain such public support because most people aren’t familiar with what Rexnord manufacturers.

“People don’t understand what a bearing is, and that’s another thing that’s troubling. It’s not an air conditioner. People don’t understand that bearings run everything that turns,” Zering explained. “You’ve got to have them in the world to be able to move your cars. Everything that turns has to have a bearing on it.”

Zering said workers  feel like they’re getting help and support from Indianapolis officials, but not from lawmakers on the state or federal level.

“The ones that really count up there, we don’t hear nothing. We don’t hear nothing from them. It’s just like it happened, ‘Okay, it’s over. Let’s go on to something else. We got more important things to talk about’,” said Zering.

Before the rally, the union plans to deliver petitions to Governor Holcomb. Hundreds of people signed the petitions asking Holcomb to help save their jobs.

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