Company moving Indy jobs to Mexico
Rexnord, the multi-platform industrial company with headquarters in Milwaukee, has made it official: the company will move the 350 production jobs from its Indianapolis bearings division to Monterrey, Mexico, and some to Texas. The decision puts the cap on a month of grave concern from employees and residents alike—and denies the efforts of a steelworkers’ union, state government, and public outcry—all of which called for Rexnord to keep the facility in Indiana.
Efforts to keep the jobs “at home” included the offer of serious concessions by the plant’s workers. Tax abatement, increased hours and responsibilities without pay, and a wage freeze were all put on the table by Indianapolis’ Steelworkers Union Local 1999 during talks over the past month. Everyone up to the mayor is visibly disappointed:
“I am incredibly disappointed in Rexnord’s decision to disregard the experience, the investment, the sacrifice and the good faith efforts of their long-time employees with the decision to uproot this plant and move 300 good-paying Indianapolis jobs to Mexico.
From the beginning, I’ve made clear that my top priority is the well-being of the families affected. That is why, nearly a month ago, we expanded the City’s Carrier Task Force to begin marshaling local, state and federal resources to aid Rexnord employees. Despite today’s announcement, we will continue to work with the community and union leaders to connect affected workers with the job training and assistance they need during this difficult time. In addition, we will begin the process of seeking to recover for the taxpayers of Marion County any and all applicable financial incentives that have been provided to Rexnord over the years.”—Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett
Rexnord does gears & drives, testing and product development, power transmission services, couplings, conveying, gearboxes, and more, but the bearings manufactured at the Indianapolis facility were primarily used in the aerospace industry, for which Rexnord has an entirely separate business.
It’s easy to identify the gap between this multi-billion dollar company’s corporate structure and its workers on the ground at a facility that was one of many. The company has numerous locations across the globe including distribution centers, industrial facilities, and at least one “innovation center” that appears on the U.S. list on its website. U.S. locations include New Orleans, Downer’s Grove (IL) outside of Chicago, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, California, Utah, Alabama, Virginia, South Carolina, as well as six Canadian locations and three Mexican sites. Then, it has additional locations on every continent. Thus, it discarded the Indianapolis facility for financial reasons.
Talks were scheduled to begin Tuesday about severance and benefits details for employees facing job loss. Rexnord is looking to save $15.5 million from its Indianapolis plant by moving those jobs to Mexico and Texas. Indianapolis’ Call 6 Investigates reported in October that to reach those savings in Indiana, the company would have to drop wages from $25 an hour to about $8 an hour.
Rexnord acquired Cambridge International Holding Corp. June 1, 2016, for a total transaction value of $210 million. The company’s associated brands include Duralon, Euroflex, Link-Belt, Rex, and Stearns, among others.