In a video taken by a Carrier employee, we see bad news delivered first hand. An executive announces that the furnace and heating equipment factory will move to Mexico-eliminating 1,400 jobs at the Indianapolis plant.
Understandably, employees are upset. Represented by the United Steelworkers union, they receive good pay, including overtime. Employees seem to like working at the factory, despite long hours and what a New York Times article calls "painstaking work." As one employee said, "It's pretty cool working there. And when you do it for 60 hours a week, people are like family."
Akhil Johri, Carrier's CFO says that factory moves and job cuts "painful," but essential "for the long-term, competitive nature of the business and shareholder value creation. We feel good about being able to execute on that." The company is concerned that it will go the way of the auto industry, unable to compete with international manufacturers.
Robert McDonough, a senior executive at United Technologies (Carrier's parent company), said, "This was a really tough decision. This will have a real impact on folks we care about and this community. We're an American company, but we compete globally."
Still, UT promoted the decision during a recent meeting with shareholders and analysts, who typically react positively to such news. As the NY Times explains,
"Wall Street is looking for United Technologies to post a 17 percent increase in earnings per share over the next two years, even though sales are expected to rise only 8 percent. Bridging that gap means cutting costs wherever savings can be found."
UT CEO Gregory J. Hayes is feeling the pressure of stock performance, and his 2015 bonus was cut by 50%. But, as article says, "with a total compensation package of $5.7 million, he made more last year than Carrier's factory workers could earn in several lifetimes."
- What's your view of the decision? Consider both UT and the employees' perspective.
- Assess what we see of the Carrier meeting. How could the company have delivered the news differently? What, if anything, would change the employees' reactions?