Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders stood with Indiana workers and vowed to fight Carrier plant closings that will move 2,100 jobs to Mexico.
Speaking at a United Steelworkers rally outside the Indiana statehouse, Sen. Sanders said:
I’m here today to tell all of you that I intend to do everything that I can to prevent United Technologies from shutting down their plants in Indianapolis and Huntington and throwing 2,100 workers out on the street and moving to Monterey, Mexico, where they will pay workers $3 an hour.
This is not acceptable. This is the kind of corporate behavior that is destroying the middle class of this country – and it has got to end.
The greed of United Technologies is almost unbelievable. You can’t make this stuff up. They have no shame.
This is a company that in 2014 provided its retired CEO, Louis Schenevert, with a golden parachute of $172 million – including a pension worth $31 million. And they apparently got rid of him because he was doing a bad job! Imagine what they would have given him if he was doing a good job.
This is a company that could afford to pay its new CEO more than $14 million in total compensation last year.
This is a company which made a profit of more than $7 billion last year.
This is a company that received $6 billion in defense contracts last year from the taxpayers of this country.
And this is a company that has received more than $58 million in corporate welfare from the Export-Import Bank. That is unacceptable.
This is a company that in 2009 received $121 million in federal tax credits designed specifically to keep green manufacturing jobs in the United States.
Today, we need to send a very loud and very clear message to the CEO of United Technologies: Stop the greed. Stop destroying the middle class in America. Respect your workers. Respect the American people.
If United Technologies wants to receive another defense contract from the taxpayers of this country, it must not move these plants to Mexico.
If United Technologies refuses to keep these jobs in Indiana, it should pay back all of the corporate welfare it has received from the taxpayers of this country.
Let’s be clear, however. What United Technologies is doing here in Indiana is what corporate America has done throughout this country over the last 35 years.
It is not acceptable for a company to take hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks, and then move jobs overseas. It is not acceptable for corporate executives to pay themselves bigger salaries while destroying the American middle class.
The answer to why Bernie Sanders continues to campaign can be found in his remarks at this protest. Democrats can’t rely on any one voice to do it alone and stand up for American workers. President Obama couldn’t do it alone. Hillary Clinton won’t be able to do it alone. Workers need the voices of all Democrats to stand together against the corporate greed that is killing their jobs.
Sen. Sanders is still campaigning, because there are millions of Americans who need him to speak out on their behalf. If America is going to be transformed. If the country is going to change, the fight must not end once a candidate is nominate or another Democratic president is elected. In order to rebuild the middle class, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and every Democrat across the country will need to stand together to end the destruction of the American Dream.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association