Union plans for future after Jones retirement

The United Steelworkers 1999 union is planning for the future as union president Chuck Jones looks to retire. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The United Steelworkers 1999 union is planning for the future as union president Chuck Jones, who was scolded in a tweet from Donald Trump last Dec., is planning his retirement. The union represents workers for Carrier and Rexnord.

Jones said he planned to retire sooner but he felt he couldn’t leave after Carrier and Rexnord announced plans to move jobs to Mexico.

After fighting to keep the jobs here and finalizing severance packages for union members, Jones plans to retire at the end of May.

He says some folks are sad to see him go, but not everyone.

“Some people are just thrilled to death because they don’t like me,” Jones said.

Jones’ no-nonsense style prompted a tweet last Dec. from then president-elect Trump.

“Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!” the tweet read.

“One thing that’s good about the whole situation with Trump tweeting out like he did, it helped keep the story alive in this country as far as what’s happening as far as losing jobs,” Jones said.

Jones said his successor, Robert James, will also keep the story alive. James currently serves at the Vice President for the local union. He did not respond to our request for an interview Wednesday.

“Me and him are going to work together through the whole month of May for me to get him up to speed,” Jones said.

Together, Jones and James will do what they can to help Carrier and Rexnord workers find new jobs.

Jones said he hopes lawmakers will find a way to make it harder for companies to leave the U.S.

“Contrary to what some people might believe that don’t like me—and I could care less-I feel like I gave my best effort on whatever it was that I was asked to do,” Jones said.

James will take over as the union president on June 1.

Rexnord is already moving machinery out of the Indianapolis plant and union members expect layoffs to start within the next two weeks.

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