Prayer vigil held for those set to lose jobs at Carrier and Rexnord

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Praying for a Christmas miracle, workers and leaders with Carrier and Rexnold held a vigil Sunday evening. They’re hoping their jobs can still be saved. The vigil was held at Mount Olive Ministries church on the city’s west side.

During the vigil those in attendance wrote down a prayer. They took that prayer to the alter where they will be delivered to Carrier and Rexnord. They believe it’s a miracle that hundreds are jobs are staying at Carrier. Now, they’re hoping for an even bigger miracle.

Songs of peace, love and joy filled the sanctuary. But joy is far from what many felt knowing their jobs are leaving for Mexico next year.

“It’s going to leave us searching for new employment. We’re going to have to make a lot of changes as far as our life,” said 12 year Rexnold Senior Machinist Tim Mathis.

President Elect Donald Trump made headlines almost two weeks ago following up on a campaign promise and striking a deal to save 1,100 jobs at the Indianapolis Carrier plant.

Dozens came out. They’re looking to Trump, who they say did not protect 1,700 jobs between Rexnord and Carrier in his negotiations.

When asked why he believe the responsibility to save jobs falls on Trump instead of their union leaders, here is what Mathis said, “Union leaders will represent our working wages and working conditions. President Elect Trump and our elected officials will negotiate trade deals.”

Local USW President Chuck Jones says he has attempted to negotiate with Carrier. He says, so far, efforts have failed after Carrier reps say they could save $65 million by moving to Mexico.

“The only way that we could’ve competed with $65 million or keep the jobs here, everybody would have to work for five dollars an hour and they’re would be no benefits, no healthcare, no pension, no vacation and no holidays,” said Jones.

But still, they hold out hope, even if it’s just a glimmer, “Even though the chances are very slim, we’re still going to fight to keep those jobs here,” said Jones.

Jones says he offered Carrier $23 million a year to stay. But he says given the $65 million savings, his offer fell short.