Carrier Employee: ‘Thank You, Mr. Trump’

Assembly-line worker tells LifeZette that president-elect 'has done more in three weeks than Obama did for me in eight years'

Donald Trump has struck a deal with the Carrier Corporation to keep nearly 1,000 jobs in the Midwest city of Indianapolis — scrapping the plan to send the company’s operations to Mexico and cheering many working-class families.

For Bret David, 45, who has worked for Carrier at the Indiana plant for 14 years, this was great news — his factory job making furnaces has been saved. David lives with his girlfriend Nancy Yeh, 38, and owns a business, Bret David Photography — he takes wedding photos on weekends for the extra money. He knows the value of a buck and works hard for it.

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In Trump, David said he has found a job rescuer and someone he already looks up to, though he has never met the man. The president-elect traveled to Carrier on Thursday afternoon, along with Gov. Mike Pence. Many Carrier workers had the chance to see the president-elect up close and hear from him directly.

“I was raised by my grandfather — my father wasn’t around when I was little,” Bret David told LifeZette just ahead of Trump’s visit. “My grandfather was my hero. He was a Marine and served in World War II, and he was very patriotic. I grew up listening to stories about him, and about the war, and watching John Wayne movies with him. He was just so proud to be an American, and I felt proud to be an American.”

David added, “I personally feel I’ve finally found another man I look up to and respect in Donald Trump because he loves our country so much, and he thinks it’s a wonderful thing to be an American. He wants to take care of the American people. He’ll do what he says. I just wish my grandfather could be here to listen to this man talking.”

Bret David, a line worker at Carrier, with his girlfriend, Nancy Yeh, in Indiana

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All week long, David is a Carrier man. The heating and air conditioning giant has been very good to him, he said.

“I don’t have anything bad to say about Carrier,” David said. “They’ve paid me well and offered me a good place to work. I’ve held supervisory positions as well, but I got bumped around due to pretty normal seniority staffing issues, so I went down a level and have been able to stay in the same department for about eight years now.”

David was not surprised, he said, when Carrier announced in February of this year that it was going to shutter the Indianapolis plant and move the operations to Mexico. He feels it offers a cautionary tale for those Americans who aren’t ready to work hard for what they really want.

“A lot of people were surprised and shocked, but I personally wasn’t,” he said. “Several times a year we have informational meetings, and they tell us how the company is doing, and also compare us to other plants throughout the U.S. — they would show us how much better [employee] attendance was in the plants they already have in Mexico. They would say, ‘You need to work on attendance [at the Indy plant], and tell your fellow coworkers to get in here, or we’re going to move. Attendance better improve, or we’re going to move to Mexico.'”

David was blunt. “Personally, I think a lot of Americans have gotten really lazy. People feel like they’re just supposed to have a job — they don’t feel lucky to have a job. When others were totally shocked and crying [over the announced closure], I thought, ‘Well, they’ve been telling us this for years.'”

Once the closure was announced, David was going to ramp up his photo business. But when he heard he still had a job, he was thrilled — and changed plans again.

“Staying open is going to help a lot of people that I know personally, and it’s going to help the community. People will still be paying taxes now, which goes right back into the city. I’m excited for that.”

What means even more to David is what Trump is doing.

“I was so happy on election night that I get to live in this time in this great country.”

“I think, honestly, I’m more excited that President-Elect Trump is fulfilling promises he made,” he said. “It’s only three weeks — he’s not even in there [at the White House] yet and he’s already making huge changes. I told people at work today, ‘He’s done more in three weeks than Obama did for me in eight years.'”

Davis says he is “very proud” he voted for Trump, and attended rallies to support him. “During the campaign, I kept thinking, ‘If Hillary takes over, all the other companies will follow Carrier and leave, too. Just exactly where is everybody going to go work?'”

David was sick and tired of hearing about so-called “corporate greed” during the presidential campaign. “I tried to explain to other people when it comes to corporate greed, those are the people who pay your salary. People have to have more money than you to pay you!”

The grandfather who raised David, Myron David, died when he was just 16. “He was at Iwo Jima,” said David proudly. “My other grandfather served in the Army during the Korean War. I served, too — I was in the Army. I was fortunate — I didn’t have to go to war, or get shot, or shoot anybody else. But I would have been proud to go and serve my country.”

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There were ripples that perhaps the president-elect was going to make an appearance at the plant on either Wednesday or Thursday — and David was prepared for Wednesday and will be again for Thursday. “I wore all my Trump gear to work,” he said, laughing, on Wednesday night.

For this Indianapolis native, the best is yet to come.

“While I sometimes feel I was born in the wrong era, I was so happy on election night that I get to live in this time in this great country — and see Trump’s great victory.”

This article was updated to reflect the latest events. 

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