The war of words between Trump and a union leader at Carrier is heating up as the two men publicly dispute the success of Trump's deal to keep some Carrier jobs in Indiana.
The feud began Wednesday when Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, complained in an interview that Trump had failed to fulfill his promise to keep all the Carrier jobs from moving to Mexico.
Jones stated that Trump had promised Carrier workers that he would keep all Carrier jobs from moving to Mexico; however, Carrier still planned to move some of those jobs in spite of the deal struck with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the current governor of Indiana.
"You made a promise to keep all these jobs. You half-way delivered," Jones complained.
Jones criticized Trump for failing to keep all companies from moving jobs to Mexico, not just Carrier jobs. For example, the union boss ripped Trump for failing to act to save 350 jobs at an Indiana plant owned by Rexnord, which is also slated to move to Mexico. The Rexnord employees are members of Jones' union.
Wednesday night, Trump fired back at Jones on Twitter, accusing him of being an ineffective union leader:
Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1481157708.0
If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1481162200.0
Trump has not addressed either of the specific criticisms Jones raised, and the points raised by both men ignore the far greater threat to manufacturing jobs: automation. Experts estimate that 85 percent of manufacturing jobs lost in the United States over the last 20 years are due to advances in automation, and the problem is likely to get worse. Fully 59 percent of manufacturing jobs that still exist in America could be replaced with existing automation technology.
In fact, U.S. manufacturing output has more than doubled since 1984, and manufacturing remains the largest sector of the American economy. However, in that same time period, the number of manufacturing jobs has been reduced by a third.
The United States is producing more — even at less cost — than it ever has. By and large, the problem is not that manufacturing jobs have moved to Mexico or anywhere else, it is that they simply do not exist anywhere anymore.