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Carrier Union Pres.: Trump 'Overreacted' in Twitter Attacks

Image: Carrier Union Pres.: Trump 'Overreacted' in Twitter Attacks

President-elect Donald Trump (AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 08 Dec 2016 08:46 AM

A Steelworkers union president under attack by President-elect Donald Trump said Thursday he has gotten a few threats after calling the nation's new leader a liar over his reports on the number of jobs saved at Indianapolis' Carrier Corp. plant, but he is not worried about the threats or Trump's tweets slamming his performance.

"I have been doing this job for 30 years and I've had a lot more serious threats than what people are making right now," United Steelworkers 1999 President Chuck Jones told CNN "New Day" host Chris Cuomo. "He overreacted, President-elect Trump did. And I would expect that if he was going to tweet something, he should come out and try to justify his numbers and try to justify when I called him out on that."

Story continues below video.

Trump ripped into Jones through his Twitter account, calling him out by name Wednesday after the union president claimed the president-elect "lied his a-- off" when announcing the Indiana air-conditioner maker would keep its plant and 1,110 jobs.

The president-elect tweeted, in response, Jones "has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!" and 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 continued his contention Trump was not truthful when he said he did not make any direct mentions of Carrier keeping jobs in the United during his presidential campaign, "even though he said it several times."

But still, Jones said Thursday he has "got a little more thicker skin maybe than I did many years ago," and everyone has a right to their opinion, so he is not "overly upset" about either Trump's direct slams or the threats he has been receiving.

Jones said if he regrets anything, maybe it was his "choice of words," but Trump's numbers were inflated, and he called the president-elect out about it.

He admitted he does not know, as a fact, if Trump knew the real number of jobs saved was not 1,100 before he made his announcement, but he would have to assume he would know the numbers beforehand.

"You hear all the time how much of a skilled negotiator that he is," Jones said. "You know, he says about himself. So, I've been in a lot of negotiations as a union representative. So, I would have to assume that he knew the world knew the precise numbers or should have."

Jones said the Steelworkers union is grateful 730 of its members still have a job, and acknowledged it is "due to President-elect Donald Trump getting involved."

"My problem is when they put out earlier in the week that 1,100 and some odd jobs were going to be saved, a lot of the people thought at that point in time that they were going to have a job," Jones said.

During their conference, Jones continued, Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence talked about saving 1,100 jobs, but "they did not mention anything about 550 jobs in Indianapolis going to Mexico. A lot of people throughout that crowd and that plant thought, at that point in time, 'We're going to have a job,' only to find out when we told them the next day that 550 of them were going to lose their jobs to Monterey [Mexico]."

Meanwhile, military contracts were a big part of the negotiations between Carrier parent company United Technologies Corp. and Trump, said Jones, and "it wasn't $7 million over 10 years anted up by the taxpayers in Indiana "that decided the jobs issue."

"I'm glad that jobs were saved, once again," Jones said. "But the taxpayers are paying their tax dollars to a very profitable company in order to retain 730 jobs."

Jones admitted he would have used the military contracts as leverage, and he has no problem with Trump doing that, but "everybody thinks that because the state of Indiana offered up $7 million over 10 years that was a game changer: I don't buy that."

The union leader said he does not know what UTC's long-term plans are, but he does know the company plans to invest $16 million in the Carrier facility within the next two years. However, he is concerned the plans include automation, which will mean even more lost jobs.

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A Steelworkers union president under attack by President-elect Donald Trump said Thursday he is not worried about the threats or Trump's tweets slamming his performance.
union, president, carrier, Twitter, attacks
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2016-46-08
Thursday, 08 Dec 2016 08:46 AM
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