Since March of 2016, I have been covering the saga of how more than 2,000 Carrier and United Technologies workers in Indiana are faring as their employer prepares to outsource roughly half of those positions to Mexico. Donald Trump seized on Carrier’s decision to close its Indianapolis plant soon after the initial announcement in Feb. 2016, and the story became a centerpiece of his arguments against free trade agreements in both the primary and general election campaigns.
Whether you agree or disagree, Trump’s rhetoric clearly resonated with his blue collar base, and helped him win the Rust Belt states that unexpectedly propelled him to victory: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Check out my initial story on the factory floor video that went viral and created a P.R. nightmare for the company, as well as introduced readers to the lives of ordinary workers there. Next is a piece I did from Indianapolis immediately after the election on what the workers hoped President-elect Trump could do for them. Then read about the deal Carrier and its parent, United Technologies, struck with Trump, as well as my interview with him when he visited the Carrier plant on Dec. 1. Finally, check out my latest story from April 2017 on the Hoosier workers in small-town Huntington, Indiana whose jobs President Trump couldn’t save.
In May 2017, the Deadline Club (NYC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists) chose my post-election story on Carrier as the best business feature story of 2016. http://www.deadlineclub.org/awards/2017winners
From the earliest days of his campaign, Donald J. Trump made keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States his signature economic issue, and the decision by Carrier, the big air-conditioner company, to move over 2,000 of them from Indiana to Mexico was a tailor-made talking point for him on the stump.
HUNTINGTON, Ind. — These are the Indiana workers whose jobs President Trump didn’t save.
After assembling circuit boards for Carrier furnaces at a factory here for 21 years, Jim Sholle, 56, walked out of the plant for the final time last month. But he still finds himself waking up every morning at 4:30, ready to work the 6 a.m.-to-2 p.m. shift.
MORE CARRIER COVERAGE
By the time the sun comes up, Nicole Hargrove knows if it’ll be a struggle to meet her quota at the Carrier furnace factory in Indianapolis. Six days a week, she’s on the assembly line by 6 a.m., when a buzzer sounds and starts a shift that is supposed to conclude with 1,100 newly built units. But lately, the line sometimes grinds to a premature halt . . .
INDIANAPOLIS — The fuzzy video, shot by a worker on the floor of a Carrier factory here in the American heartland last month, captured the raging national debate over trade and the future of the working class in 3 minutes 32 seconds.
INDIANAPOLIS — By the time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years this month, Paul Roell was already asleep. He did not stay up to see Barack Obama win the presidency in 2008, or watch in 2000 as the margin of votes separating George W. Bush and Al Gore in Florida shrank to the vanishing point.