Donald Trump‘s itchy Twitter finger aimed at a new target yesterday: Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents workers at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis.
Trump, along with Indiana Gov. and Vice-President elect Mike Pence, was involved in a deal with Carrier that gave them $7 million in state tax credits to reduce the number of jobs they were offshoring to Mexico. That was excellent news for the 800 Carrier workers who got to keep their jobs (730 union steelworkers and 70 non-union workers in clerical and management positions). But Jones argued that Trump had oversold the win by inaccurately claiming that he had saved more than 1,100 jobs.
“For whatever reason, he lied his ass off,” Jones told the Washington Post. “Trump and Pence, they pulled a dog and pony show on the numbers. I almost threw up in my mouth.”
Jones said that he was thankful for the jobs that were kept, but that Trump had come up short on his promise to keep 1,400 Carrier jobs from moving to Mexico. In fact, even after the deal and the state tax credits, the company is still shipping offshoring nearly 600 jobs (including 550 union steelworker jobs). “You made a promise to keep all these jobs,” Jones told CNN. “You half-way delivered. We expect you go back and keep all the jobs.” Meanwhile, Jones noted, Carrier is also offshoring 700 jobs from a separate facility in Huntington, Indiana.
“He’s lying his ass off,” Jones said. “That’s not just my feeling. The numbers prove he’s lying his ass off. It’s a damn shame when you come in and make a false statements like that. If you’re dealing with people’s livelihoods, you sure ought to know what the numbers are.”
Trump responded with the tweets above. It seems like a poor choice for the president elect of the United States to insult a local union and a local union rep, but Trump marches to the beat of a different dumb.
After Trump’s tweets, Jones started receiving death threats, but said that he’d been doing union work for decades and was used to threats.
The national United Steelworkers union responded that Jones was “a hero, not a scapegoat” who had “worked tirelessly since day one to save ALL jobs there” and noted that Trump and other national leaders only became aware of the Carrier situation because of Jones’ advocacy.