WASHINGTON ― Though he promised to stop U.S. companies from shipping jobs overseas and criticized Rexnord Corp.’s planned layoffs on Twitter, President-elect Donald Trump has been unable to make the ball-bearing manufacturer reconsider.
The company finalized an agreement Thursday with the local United Steelworkers union for severance pay when the company shuts down its Indianapolis factory next spring. Roughly 300 workers will lose their jobs.
Rexnord announced its plan to shift production to Mexico this year. Trump, who followed through on a campaign promise to stop the Carrier Corp. from shuttering a factory in Indianapolis, blasted Rexnord on Twitter.
“Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers,” Trump said on Twitter last week. “This is happening all over our country. No more!”
Rexnord’s finalizing of its offshoring plan suggests Trump’s ability to bully companies into staying in the U.S. may be somewhat limited, despite his success with Carrier. Trump has said that he wants to change America’s trade policies, but also that he could personally call the CEO of every company that might move production abroad.
“This has been a very difficult decision, and we understand the human impact it will have on our associates, their families and the Indianapolis community,” Rexnord said in a statement to CNN. “It is our intent to provide support and transition service for our impacted associates during this difficult time.”
Rexnord hasn’t responded to repeated requests for comment on Trump’s threats.
“We haven’t heard anything as of now about them even talking to Donald Trump,” Don Zering, a Rexnord worker and an official with with United Steelworkers Local 1999, said in an interview.
The agreement with the union includes a week’s pay for every year of employment with the company for workers who stay on until the plant closes.
The same union that represents Carrier workers also represents Rexnord workers. The union was shut out of negotiations between Trump’s team and Carrier. That deal saves 800 positions, but more than 500 will be eliminated.
Zering, who has worked for Rexnord as a machinist since the 1970s, said it had been a good place to work, but the company’s offshoring plans represent corporate greed. The firm is profitable, according to its financial reports.
“They took care of my family and everything, but they are greedy son of a bucks,” Zering said.
CORRECTION: An earlier version incorrectly reported the day of Rexnord’s agreement with the union. It was on Thursday, not Friday.