Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has been a vocal critic of United Technologies’ decision to move 1,400 jobs at an Indianapolis Carrier air conditioning plant to Mexico, making it a centerpiece of his campaign and his criticism of free trade deals. But yesterday the union local that represents those workers announced it was endorsing Democratic contender Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, saying that Sanders’ views on labor were more in line with its workers’ interests.
“Bernie Sanders for decades has fought against the kinds of disastrous trade deals that are now allowing Carrier to ship over a thousand good-paying Indiana jobs to Mexico,” United Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones said in a press release announcing the endorsement. “Bernie Sanders is the only candidate running for president who will do something to stop this kind of corporate greed if he is elected--because he’s been fighting against it for years. We will be doing everything we can to help him win the primary here in Indiana on May 3.”
Sanders has also decried United Technologies’ decision, calling it “a disaster for American workers.” In his campaign, Sanders highlights the fact that, unlike his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, he voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that opened up trade borders with Mexico and Canada.
Carrier workers in Indianapolis earn on average $26 an hour. The union has said that their Mexican counterparts would be paid $3 an hour.
Early voting in Indiana started April 5. The primary election there takes place on May.