By Nick Carey
CHICAGO (Reuters) – United Technologies Corp <UTX.N> plans retrain U.S. workers at its Carrier Corp air conditioning unit who will lose their jobs once production moves to Mexico, the company’s top executive said on Tuesday.
“These are real people with real jobs and real lives,” United Technologies Chief Executive Officer Gregory Hayes said at a conference in Chicago on future technologies. “We do have a responsibility to those workers.”
He gave no details about what the retraining would entail.
Carrier Corp’s announcement in February about the production move that would cost 1,400 jobs at a plant in Indianapolis and 700 at another plant in Indiana has come under sustained attack from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Local union leaders said Carrier had told them the jobs would go to Mexican workers who would make $3 an hour compared with more than $20 for their U.S. counterparts.
Trump has said if elected he would impose steep tariffs on Carrier air conditioners imported into the United States. The Republican nominee has also criticized Ford Motor Co <F.N> and other U.S. corporations for moving American jobs abroad.
Hayes said globalization poses a broader challenge when it comes to training and retraining workers that the United States and other countries must address.
“The genie is out of the bottle,” Hayes said. “The big question is how do we train the next generation of workers and how do we retrain the current generation?”
(Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by David Gregorio)