Trump clashes with union leader over Carrier deal
After sparring with Boeing over the allegedly soaring cost of the next Air Force One, President-elect Trump is now in a social media clash with the head of United Steelworkers 1999 – after Jones criticized his deal to discourage air conditioner manufacturer Carrier Corp. from closing an Indiana factory and moving jobs to Mexico.
The president-elect took to Twitter Wednesday evening when Jones challenged Trump’s claims about saving 1,100 American jobs:
Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!
If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues
Jones’ branch of USW represents workers at Carrier’s Indianapolis plant. Trump last week announced a highly touted deal to save American jobs there – which ostensibly boosted the president-elect’s campaign narrative as a jobs creator, while also raising questions about the government’s role in the arrangement offering tax incentives.
Jones told The Washington Post in a story published Tuesday, though, that Trump lied about how many Carrier jobs were saved by the deal, which included $7 million in state tax incentives.
Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence — governor of Indiana — visited Carrier’s Indianapolis factory Dec. 1 to celebrate the deal. Trump suggested then that the number of jobs saved could top 1,100. Jones says the total is much less because more than 400 jobs will still be lost from the Indianapolis plant.
In the Post interview, he accused Trump and Pence of staging “a dog and pony show” around the Carrier deal.
On Thursday, Jones told CNN that Trump “overreacted” and should have “come out and tried to justify his numbers.”
“A lot of the people thought at that point in time that they were going to have a job” who might not, Jones said Thursday, adding that Trump “inflated” the number and “I called him out.”
He also told The Indianapolis Star that he’s been getting threats since the publication of the Post story.
“Calling me names, wanting to know if I have children,” he told the newspaper. “I better watch out for myself, and they know what kind of car I drive, that I better watch out for my kids.”