Shannon at a union job fair in Indianapolis with a recruiter, and a former co-worker.
Dear Commons Community,
The New York Times has a human-interest story in today’s edition about a steelworker, Shannon Mulcahy, whose job making bearings at The Rexnord Corporation’s factory in Indianapolis, was being phased out as the company moved its operations to Mexico. Here is a brief excerpt:
“… She tried to be nice. She brought the Mexican team [she was training them to use the factory equipment] outside to look at the solar eclipse. Shannon felt the eyes of her American co-workers on her.
No one harbored illusions anymore that President Trump would save the plant. Shannon didn’t hold it against him. “Everybody’s fighting him,” she said.
She did worry when she heard on the news that he was trying to roll back a federally funded health care program that Carmella relied on.
Mr. Trump was turning into just another politician, the same way Link-Belt was turning into just another brand.
Shannon, who’d derived her self-worth from the quality of the bearings she made, felt unsure about who she’d become.
In two weeks’ time, her job would end. Her trip to Mexico would be canceled at the last minute, along with the $5,000 bonus she had been counting on. Training costs had gone over budget and needed to be reined in.
More than 17 years on the factory floor came down to this: the Tocco, disconnected from water and electricity, waiting to be cut into pieces. Ricardo stood at a table nearby, swaddling the last of its coils in Bubble Wrap.
Shannon didn’t offer to help.
She walked outside to smoke. She didn’t want Ricardo to see her cry.”
This scenario continues to play out in factories across the country. People who had well-paying manufacturing jobs seeing the rugs pulled out from under them. Most do not have college-degrees and their employability at a decent wage severely limited.