Indiana Firm Rexnord Signals Move to Mexico Despite Trump Criticism

By Andrew TangelIndustriesDow Jones Newswires

Rexnord Corp. is pressing ahead with plans to close a factory in Indianapolis and shift many of those jobs to Mexico despite a public shaming from President-elect Donald Trump.

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Milwaukee-based Rexnord, a maker of ball bearings and valves, said in a notice Indiana officials received on Friday that it would begin laying off the factory’s approximately 350 employees around Feb. 13.

The layoffs are expected to continue through June, Rexnord said in a notice the company is required by law to provide to employees ahead of their termination.

Chuck Jones, president of a United Steelworkers local that represents the company’s workers in Indianapolis, said Rexnord has dispatched employees to the Indianapolis plant to learn how to do the work of those who will lose their jobs.

“People are upset,” Mr. Jones said. “It’s a slap in the face.”

A spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to questions about Rexnord’s training plans.

Earlier this month, Mr. Trump castigated Rexnord in a Twitter post. He has also criticized United Technologies Corp.’s Carrier unit for plans to move jobs to Mexico, and Boeing Co. for what he said are cost overruns in building new Air Force One jets to carry the president.

“Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers,” Mr. Trump wrote on Dec. 2. “This is happening all over our country. No more!”

Rexnord said operations would be relocated from Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico, between April and June. The company said it would retain some office jobs in Indianapolis and create other jobs in Texas.

Rexnord said more than half its workforce, about 4,000 employees, are in the U.S.

“Difficult decisions are a part of today’s business environment,” Rexnord said. “To be a viable company that contributes to economic growth, we must meet customers’ needs with high-quality products at competitive prices.”

A spokeswoman for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. declined to comment.

Mr. Jones, the union leader, still hopes Rexnord might reverse the decision. “We’re still fighting the fight to keep them from moving,” Mr. Jones said.

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