Tom Jr. Sr. III
2017-10-11 02:51:47 UTC
Trump hates the american worker. Nobody hates America more than
elitist $billionaire Trump and his grovelling gullible followers.
Company That Trump Trashed For Offshoring Jobs Is Having Workers
Train Their Own Replacements
Rexnord Corporation apparently isnt scared of a Trump tweet.
By Arthur Delaney
Brian Reed has known some of his co-workers for decades and
considers them friends, but hes been very direct with the ones
getting extra pay to train their replacements.
This place is shutting down and moving purely for corporate
greed, and in return youre just as greedy as they are, because
youre chasing $4 an hour, Reed said. In my eyes, all youre
doing is helping this company succeed when this company has failed
Reed has worked for Rexnord Corp. at its ball-bearing factory in
Indianapolis for 24 years. Although the company is profitable, it
announced last fall that it would be shuttering the plant, laying
off 300 people and replacing them with workers in Mexico and
To get the new workers up to speed, Rexnord has flown groups of
them to Indiana to be trained by the soon-to-be-laid-off employees
theyre replacing. The company hashed out this arrangement after
completing a severance agreement with the local United
Steelworkers union. The typical hourly wage at the plant is about
$25; employees who volunteer to train can get an extra $4.
Workers have been protesting the move, which they argue is greedy
because the company is profitable and the plant is productive.
President Donald Trump criticized the company in a tweet in
December, saying it was an example of the kind of offshoring his
administration would stop with new trade deals.
But its unlikely that Trump could change U.S. trade policy fast
enough to have an effect on Rexnords decision, and the tweet
hasnt done the trick, either. After all, Rexnord is just one of
dozens of companies laying people off and shipping their jobs
abroad in any given month, even as Trump dubiously claims to have
forced firms like General Motors and Ford to announce new capital
investment in the U.S.
To be a viable company that contributes to economic growth, we
must meet customers needs with high-quality products at
competitive prices, Rexnord said in December. We work diligently
to do this while making responsible decisions for the people and
partners who depend on this company and its long-term health.
Trump did succeed in getting one company, Carrier Corporation, to
cancel its plans to close a factory in the U.S. ? a furnace
factory in Indianapolis about a mile from Rexnords bearings
plant. Many Rexnord workers, who are represented by the same
chapter of the Steelworkers Union as the Carrier Workers, hoped
that Trump would turn his attention to their plight. Those hopes
faded slightly after Trump exaggerated the number of Carrier jobs
saved and then feuded with president of the union over it.
For all Rexnord workers know, Trump has already moved on to other
things. Meanwhile, bitterness over the replacement-training effort
has been simmering since last fall. Don Zering, president of the
United Steelworkers unit at Rexnord, says the atmosphere in the
factory has been tense. About 20 people volunteered to train.
Theres a little bit of friction here between people, but were
working through it, Zering said. Its more [complaints] than I
thought it would be.
Tim Feltner is a longtime Rexnord machinist who compared
participating in the training to crossing a picket line.
Its a sellout, he said. Im not mad at my union brothers, I
just cant understand.
Mark Elliott is one of the workers Reed says he chastised for
volunteering to train. Both men are assemblers whove worked for
the company for over two decades. Elliott said hes not fazed by
the criticism, though he thinks his colleagues should direct their
anger at the company, not him.
I dont blame them for being upset, he said.
The shutdown agreement between Rexnord and the union gives
employees a weeks pay for every year theyve been with the
company ? but only if they stay until the end. In the meantime, it
requires everyone to fully cooperate with the companys phase-
out of operations, including allowing themselves to be viewed
while working and answering questions about what theyre doing.
According to a union official, after workers complained to the
media about having to train their replacements, the company
started offering extra pay for volunteers for hands-on training.
Any associate who is involved in training opted in, and receives
a financial incentive over and above severance benefits, a
Rexnord spokeswoman said in an email, adding that the training was
not part of the formal shutdown agreement with the union.
Several workers have said they resent that they can only get their
severance if they stay until the plant closes this spring. And
some said they dont understand why Rexnord brought the
replacement workers to Indiana instead of sending people to Mexico
or Texas to train them there ? though the company is apparently
planning to do that, too.
Arromoneo Baskin, 32, volunteered not only to train workers at the
plant, but to go to Monterrey, Mexico, in the coming weeks to help
train workers there for a few months. He says that if anyone has a
problem with it, they can pay his bills.
At the end of the day, its corporate greed, but what are you
going to do about it? Baskin said. You got to make the best of
the opportunity that you have.
Hes worked for Rexnord for four years as an assembler, and says
he feels bad for the older workers who might have a harder time
getting new jobs after the plant closes. Baskin is optimistic
about his prospects; older workers generally have longer spells of
unemployment than younger ones.
Elliott and Reed are 52 and 45, respectively. Both men have
families. Both say they dont know what theyre going to do when
their jobs end in a few months.
When you get into those 50s, jobs are scarce, Elliott said. A
lot of people dont want you because of your age. Its a scary
situation coming up.
Its scary for them, and awkward for the trainees, who hail from
Mexico and Texas and will be paid less for their work.
Theyre a little nervous. Theyre in a new place, Elliott said.
And then theyre surrounded by people who dont even want to say
good morning to you or look at you in your face.
Reed says he doesnt resent the trainees, mad as he is at the
company and the workers training them.
Im sure they have families. I can see that, he said. Its just
hard to separate them from this company, because now they work for