Rexnord makes final decision to move jobs to Mexico, according to union

(Photo Courtesy/Rexnord)
(Photo Courtesy/Rexnord)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Union workers are feeling disappointed and frustrated after a manufacturing company made a final decision to move hundreds of jobs to Mexico.

United Steelworkers Local 1999 met with Rexnord Monday hoping to make one last attempt to save 350 jobs from going to Mexico and Texas.

Union leaders spent all day in closed door meetings with Rexnord officials. They offered several cost saving proposals to the company. But in the end, union leaders said that simply was not enough.

Cell phone video captured the emotions in October when workers first heard about the company’s plans to send their jobs to Mexico. Workers even protested outside of the plant on Rockville Road. Union leaders said 350 jobs are at stake.

“Not just the number of people, the number of families that probably don’t know what they’re going to do,” said Don Zering, who is the Rexnord Unit President for Local 1999.

Zering said the union walked into the meeting with Rexnord not ruling out hope.

“You always think there’s a glimmer of hope even though we didn’t think it,” he said. “Our union was only hoping there’s still hope hanging out there.”

The union presented the company with cost saving proposals to address labor cost reduction. Zering said the company came back and told them it was not substantial.

“They appreciate us for trying to work with them but it was nowhere what they needed,” he said. “They needed a substantial cost saving; we offered them a cost saving but it wasn’t substantial.”

Other manufacturing companies like, Carrier announced similar plans less than a year ago. Carrier’s move impacts 1,400 jobs.

“We cannot keep losing these jobs to other countries just for corporate greed,” he said.

Mayor Joe Hogsett launched a task force after Carrier’s decision to help workers find new jobs. He issued a statement Monday saying in part, “Despite today’s announcement, we will continue to work with community and union leaders to connect affected workers with the job training and assistance they need during this difficult time.”

He added, “In addition, we will begin the process of seeking to recover for the taxpayers of Marion County any and all applicable financial incentives that have been provided to Rexnord over the years.”

Union leaders said the Rexnord move will begin next April and should be done by June of 2017.

“All we can hope for is the next step is better than the step that we just done and hope they’re understanding at least; help us make it through this transition,” said Zering.

The union is planning to meet with Rexnord Tuesday morning to go over severance packages, benefits, and the resources available to help workers impacted by the move.