INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, D – Vermont, did not mince words during a campaign stop in Indianapolis Tuesday morning when he disparaged United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier. The company announced months ago that it would relocate 1,400 Indianapolis jobs to Monterrey, Mexico.
“I am going to tell United Technologies, you are not going to get away with this,” Sanders said after having breakfast inside Fountain Square restaurant, Peppy Grill. “You are not going to give former CEO a $171 million severance package.”
“This is the type of greed that in fact is destroying the middle class in this country.”
Sanders did address reporters after breakfast, but he wanted to only discuss trade issues, which he says he hopes will resonate with voters in Indiana.
“This is not a case where people think the workers here are not productive. The company acknowledges that. It is simply greed. They can make more money moving to Mexico paying people $3 to $4 an hour. It is unacceptable,” Sanders said.
Sanders suggested that the federal government should “reconsider” giving profitable defense contracts to United Technologies if it or any of its companies move jobs out of the United States.
When pressed for clarification by I-Team 8’s Bennett Haeberle, Sanders said: “I think that the taxpayers of this country do not feel good about awarding profitable defense contracts to a company that is in the business of destroying thousands of lives. And I think that should be taken into consideration.”
A call placed to a company spokesman for United Technologies was not returned before news time Tuesday.
Sanders spent almost an hour inside Peppy Grill, a 24-hour restaurant in the Fountain Square neighborhood on the southeast side of downtown Indianapolis.
He met with Chuck Jones, the president of the United Steelworkers Local 1999, which has represented Carrier workers for decades.
“If United Technologies thinks that they are going to do this, that they are going to cause this much pain to so many families, and they are going to get away with this with impunity. They are wrong,” Sanders told a small group of reporters outside Peppy Grill.
Sanders also took time to blast trade deals like NAFTA and others that he said have hurt the middle class.
He also chided his democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who he said has supported these “disastrous” deals. Sanders also criticized Republican hopeful Donald Trump, saying he jumped on the Carrier issue because it was politically popular to do so.
When asked if that was something he had in common with Trump or if he would work with Trump on that issue, he said: “Donal Trump lives in his own world.”
Sanders was scheduled to make additional campaign stops in Kentucky Tuesday, where the Democratic primary will be held later this month.