In November of 2016, then-President-elect Donald Trump touted a deal he negotiated with an Indianapolis Carrier plant that he claimed would keep jobs from moving to Mexico. On Thursday, that very same Carrier plant, as expected, laid off more than 200 workers—a move critics highlighted as further proof Trump's deal with the company was a "con" all along.
"He's a pure and simple con man...and I'm sorry people bought into his message."
—Chuck Jones, former president of United Steelworkers 1999
Responding to the layoffs, Carrier workers who voted for Trump expressed regret that they ever believed he would follow through on his promises.
"Financially, I thought he's a genius. I said, 'Well, America's in debt; maybe he can do something and turn the economy around.' Obviously, it's not looking that way. Mr. Trump didn't do his research and made himself look silly in front of the nation when these layoffs and early retirements began," Duane Oreskovic, a Trump voter who lost his job Thursday, told the New Yorker.
In retrospect, Oreskovic concluded that he wishes he voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
"I would have voted for him if I could do it again," he said.
As Reuters reports, 1,000 workers will remain at the factory—in positions that were "never slated to move"—while the other "jobs are going to the company's plant in Monterrey, Mexico, where workers make about $3 an hour." Carrier, however, will continue to benefit from the $7 million in state tax breaks it was rewarded for keeping its factory in Indiana.
Speaking at an Indianapolis town hall meeting on Wednesday ahead of the layoffs, Chuck Jones, former president of United Steelworkers 1999, slammed Trump for selling workers false hope.
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"I think everybody ought to respect the president of the United States and the office he holds," Jones told an audience of workers, many of whom voted for the president in the 2016 election. "But Donald Trump is a liar and an idiot."
Jones immediately criticized Trump after his initial deal with Carrier was announced, calling out the president for inflating the number of jobs he personally "saved." Now retired, Jones is still on the attack, despite receiving death threats after Trump attacked him on Twitter in December.
"When he was saying these jobs would not be leaving this country, not at any point in time did he say, 'I'm bringing back my jobs I've got outside the country. I'm going to bring back my daughter's jobs,'" Jones added. "He's a pure and simple con man, he's a rich elite, and I'm sorry people bought into his message. He sold us a bag of shit, and now we're stuck with it. What a godawful mess he is."
Carrier's latest batch of layoffs come after more than 300 workers at the company's Indianapolis factory in July—the six-month anniversary of Trump's presidency.
They also come after Trump and high-ranking members of his cabinet touted Walmart's announcement that it is raising the company-wide minimum wage to $11 an hour. The Trump administration refused to address the fact that, on the same day, Walmart laid off thousands of employees, in some cases without notifying them.