Whirlpool to Cut 5000 Jobs

Will close plant in Tennessee

Whirlpool Corp. announced on Oct. 28 they reduce their workforce by 5000 pointing to a negative demand environment at least through the middle of 2009. Cuts include jobs that have already been announced through plant closures along with new reductions taking place now and through the end of 2009. The company will close its facility in Jackson, Tenn. Production from Jackson will be consolidated into the Findlay, Ohio plant. This will reduce jobs by 500.

Since January 2008, the company announced the closure of plants in LaVergne, Tenn.; Oxford, Miss.; Puebla, Mexico and Reynosa, Mexico, which resulted in a reduction of approximately 2,000 jobs. The company will reduce approximately 500 salaried positions throughout North America. Additionally, Whirlpool is implementing reductions across its international regions totaling approximately 1,900 jobs with the majority occurring in Europe.

These cuts are expected to produce savings of approximately $275 million on an annualized basis.

The company reported third quarter earnings decreasing 7% to $163 million. Revenue of $4.9 billion for the quarter increased 1% from the $4.8 billion reported in the third quarter of 2007. Third-quarter earnings reflect lower global unit volumes, higher material and oil-related costs and lower asset sale gains compared to the third quarter of 2007, the company said.

"We are in the midst of a rapidly changing and very challenging economic environment. We have seen a sharp drop in demand in North America and Europe during the third quarter, and we do not expect demand conditions to improve in the near term," said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation CEO. "Our third-quarter results were negatively impacted by declining demand and record levels of cost inflation. These unfavorable factors were partially offset by improved price/mix and productivity."

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