Rexnord considers moving hundreds of jobs to Mexico, workers plan to protest

Rexnord considers moving hundreds of jobs to Mexico, workers plan to protest. (Provided Photo/Mayor Joe Hogsett Twitter page)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Mayor Joe Hogsett is meeting with the Carrier Task Force to talk about potential job losses at manufacturing company Rexnord Bearings.

A spokesperson said Hogsett met with members of the task force throughout the weekend and had several meetings lined up for Monday. Hogsett’s office has also reached out to the company for a meeting.

Workers told 24-Hour News 8 they plan to protest after Rexnord announced its “tentative” plan to move hundreds of Indianapolis jobs to Mexico.

Chuck Jones, the union president, said he is trying to bargain with Rexnord to keep the Indianapolis plant open. Jones said if that doesn’t happen, and Rexnord continues with the plan to move jobs to Mexico, he’ll work to get the employees extra benefits and training assistance.

The company said it has tentatively made the decision to move about 300 manufacturing jobs to Mexico, but it’s not final yet. Rexnord employees learned about the potential move on Friday, just before the end of the day. They met with union leaders on Sunday.

This is less than a year after Carrier announced it was moving about 1,400 jobs to Mexico. That company become a talking point in the 2016 Presidential election season. Jones said this feels like Carrier all over again.

“It wasn’t due to bad quality or not being profitable, it’s over corporate greed pure and simple. Once again our workers can’t compete with $3.00 per hour Mexican wages. It’s a shame,” said Jones.

“It’s gotta stop. Something’s gotta be done to get this stopped. I think it’s really it’s time for the American working people to stand up and do something that others aren’t getting done for us,” said Rexnord worker Gary Canter.

Workers have not told 24-Hour News 8 when or how they plan to protest. Some workers said they were still trying to figure out what to do next.

“It was quite a shock, everybody was kind of shocked and it’s just now really kind of settling in. I just don’t know what to think right now as far as what do in the future we have no game plan set right now,” said Canter.

Mayor Joe Hogsett was also at the meeting on Sunday, speaking with workers about what the city can do to help their families.

Rexnord released this statement about the potential relocation on Friday:

Rexnord has tentatively decided to relocate its Indianapolis, Indiana manufacturing operations to an existing Rexnord manufacturing facility with capacity in Monterrey, Mexico. 

We understand, recognize and respect that in these circumstances discussion and openness with the Steelworkers Union is an important step. We have invited the Union to join us in an open and frank discussion over this potential relocation and the impact it would have on Rexnord associates and their families.

 While no final decision has been made, completion of the potential relocation process would be targeted for April through June 2017