The U.S. Carrier factory where President Donald Trump says he saved 800 jobs from moving to Mexico is expected to notify 300 people this week that they are being laid off.
The layoff notices are expected to start as early as Thursday, exactly six months since Trump took office. The layoffs are part of a deal Trump made with the company in December to prevent deeper cuts at the Indianapolis plant.
The layoffs are the first of a group of 630 job terminations planned for the year as the company moves some of its operations to Mexico. Carrier announced in December that its fan coil department would relocate to Mexico by the end of 2017.
In a letter sent to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development in May, a human resources manager for Carrier said, “While the entire facility is not closing, the separations are expected to be permanent.”
In addition, Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies Corporation, is expected to lay off an additional 700 workers at factories in the town of Huntington, Indiana, near the city of Fort Wayne.
However, Carrier has also said it will honor its commitment, made in 2016, to employ about 1,100 people in Indianapolis.
Robert James, the man who heads the Carrier workers’ local union, has told VOA the union is trying to negotiate retirement incentives and “voluntary separation” incentives, or buyouts, for the workers to cut down the number of actual job losses.
The Carrier plant, which makes gas furnaces, became an issue in last year’s presidential election when United Technologies announced plans to eliminate about 2,100 jobs in the state and transfer those operations to Mexico. As a presidential candidate, Trump roundly criticized that decision.
After winning the presidential election, Trump worked out a deal with his vice president-elect, then the governor of Indiana, to provide as much as $7 million in tax incentives and training grants for Carrier in exchange for keeping about 700 of those jobs in the state.
Trump also tweeted twice about former union leader Chuck Jones after Jones criticized the deal. Trump said Jones had done a “terrible job” negotiating for the workers and suggesting that he “spend more time working.”
Jones has since retired.
Carrier said the employees who lose their jobs will get severance pay. It says at least 30 people are taking advantage of educational funding offered by Carrier.