Whirlpool Closes Plants, Cuts 3,000 Workers

Whirlpool Corp. announced on May 10, it was closing three Maytag manufacturing sites, the former Maytag corporate headquarters and a research and development center in Newton Iowa as part of its efforts to integrate its Maytag operations. Administrative offices in Illinois, Canada and Mexico will be closed as well.

While 4,500 jobs will be eliminated, about 1,500 new positions will be created at other Whirlpool locations so the net total job loss will be 3,000.

"We are taking these actions to rapidly restore the competitiveness of the Maytag brands," said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and chief executive officer.

Both the Maytag Herrin, Ill. and the Search, Ark. factories will continue production until the end of the year. The Maytag factory in Newton, Iowa will continue operation until 2007. Operations will then be consolidated into Whirlpool laundry factories in Clyde and Marion, Ohio.

"Our manufacturing sites in Clyde and Marion are two of the most efficient facilities in the world, with capacity to grow," said David L. Swift, president, Whirlpool North America. "This was a difficult, but necessary decision that will further improve the cost efficiency of our laundry operations, providing consumers with industry-leading innovation and competitively produced washers and dryers from U.S.-based manufacturing locations."

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