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TRUMP is right about NAFTA & lost U.S. jobs to cheap Mexico (general)

posted by bibleprobe(R) Homepage, Mass., 02.27.2017

TRUMP is right about NAFTA & lost U.S. jobs to cheap Mexico

“The big picture is that American jobs are leaving this country to exploit cheap labor,” he said. “When you start taking away the middle class, what do you have left?”

This Indiana plant really is shipping its jobs to Mexico
USA TODAY NETWORK Robert King, The Indianapolis Star

INDIANAPOLIS — John Feltner is about to lose his job.

It could happen tomorrow or next week or next month. And he knows he can do nothing about it.

Feltner is a machinist at Rexnord Corp. (RXN), a ball bearings manufacturer that’s about to move work done for generations on Indianapolis’ west side to a new plant in Monterrey, Mexico.

The phrase “shipping jobs to Mexico” has become rhetorical gold for politicians, but at Rexnord it's distastefully real. Of late, Feltner and his 350-plus co-workers have been boxing up machinery and shipping it to Mexico.

As more of the machinery goes, the jobs will soon follow. And Rexnord will have 350 fewer union workers; its 2016 annual report said about 500 of its 4,200 U.S. workers and 7,700 worldwide were represented by U.S. labor unions.

Feltner is a burly guy with what appears to be a shaved head under his cap. He has a goatee, hooped earrings and a penchant for wearing silver skull rings on his fingers.

Feltner also is soft spoken and articulate, polish earned after months of giving interviews to media from around the world in the wake of President Trump’s intervention at nearby Carrier; Trump's hopeful tweets about Rexnord; and then his feud with Chuck Jones, the inimitable president of the United Steelworkers Local 1999. Yet the polish can’t obscure Feltner’s anger.

He has worked at Rexnord for 3½ years and hated just about everything about it:

• Hated the mandatory overtime.
• Hated the six-day workweeks that kept him away from his family.
• Hated watching the company look for reasons to fire people.

However, he was willing to put up with it because Rexnord paid him $25 an hour.

The company's stock was up almost 3% Monday to close at $22.67 a share, within 30 cents of its 52-week high of $22.97. Earlier this month, the company exceeded analysts' expectations for its third quarter, reporting adjusted earnings per share of 25 cents on sales of $449 million, but in the same period a year ago it earned 42 cents per share on sales of $454 million.

“There’s not (other) $25-an-hour jobs out there” for a steelworker in the Rust Belt, he said. Feltner, 47, had hopes of riding out Rexnord, a Milwaukee-based company that dates back to 1892, until retirement. Now, he’s looking squarely at being middle aged and unemployed.

If all that wasn’t ugly enough, Feltner and his co-workers have in recent weeks found they have new shadows on the job — workers from Mexico who are looking over their shoulders, trying to glean the skills that Feltner and his union brothers have accumulated over years, even decades. They’ve used their skills to cut steel with precision and turn it into the mechanisms that turn axles on industrial machines and run conveyor belts for the mining industry and for firms like FedEx.

FINISH READING this at: USAtoday


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