By David Simmons
The 1,000 jobs that President-elect Donald Trump saved might end up being automated, according to a recent report.
Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies, admitted in an interview to CNBC that they are investing $16 million in automation in order to compete with Mexico.
“We’re going to … automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive,” United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes said.
“Is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we’ll make the capital investments there. But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs.”
Hayes declined to comment on how many of the jobs at Carrier will be lost to automation at the Indianapolis plant.
The CNBC report said that automation will allow the Carrier plant to remain competitive with Mexico, where hourly labor costs $3, compared to the $20 employees currently earn per hour in Indianapolis.
Automation is a huge threat to American jobs. A September report said that up to 80 percent of jobs could be rendered obsolete by automation and robots. At risk especially are manufacturing jobs, the transportation sector, and the financial sector.
Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers 1999, a union representing the workers at Carrier, is concerned about automation and the threat it poses to American jobs.
“Automation means less people,” Jones said to CNN on Thursday. “I think we’ll have a reduction of workforce at some point in time once they get all the automation up and running.”