Aren't we a little old to believe in fairy tales? Whirlpool to close Maytag plants

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#1
Remember the fears of Maytag folks when Whirlpool announced the acquisition? They were told their fears were groundless. If they believed that, then they may be out kissing toads, hoping one will turn into a prince or princess.
Whirlpool to close Maytag plants, cut 4,500 jobs.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHR - news) on Wednesday said it will close three plants and several administrative offices and cut 4,500 jobs as it integrates recently acquired Maytag.

The moves include consolidating the former Maytag headquarters in Newton, Iowa, into Whirlpool's headquarters in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Whirlpool said it will continue to evaluate strategic options, including the potential sale of the Hoover vacuum unit and various commercial businesses of Maytag.

The Maytag plants slated for closure include a washer and dryer plant in Herrin, Illinois, which employs about 1,000; a dryer facility in Searcy, Arkansas with 700 workers; and a washer and dryer-making plant in Newton, Iowa, which employs about 1,000.

Production at the three Maytag plants will be consolidated into Whirlpool facilities in Marion and Clyde, Ohio.

The Illinois and Arkansas plants will close at the end of this year, while the Iowa plant will continue output into 2007.

About 1,800 salaried jobs will be cut as Maytag administrative offices in Iowa, Canada and other locations are closed, Whirlpool said.

Whirlpool also said that about 1,500 jobs would be created at other Whirlpool locations as a result of the changes, resulting in a net job elimination of about 3,000 positions when the Maytag closures are complete.

The maker of Whirlpool and KitchenAid appliances acquired its smaller rival in a $1.7 billion cash and stock deal in late March, bringing its total work force to about 80,000.

Whirlpool shares were down 70 cents to $92.39 in morning New York Stock Exchange trading.
 
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M

moiraknows

#2
Makes me glad I am not at my last job anymore!
I was with a company who manufactures (or DID!) all the racking for Whirlpool-Maytag etc. I bet they are scrambling right about now!
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#5
Wes Bucey said:
Remember the fears of Maytag folks when Whirlpool announced the acquisition? They were told their fears were groundless.
Do you have a source for that? Who told them their fears were groundless? Here's some information that indicates that both Whirlpool and Maytag were noncommital as to decisions on the fate of Maytag plants:

This is a quote from a Whirlpool spokesperson from the Marion [IL] Daily Republican:
"We are currently conducting an evaluation at each of the seven former Maytag plants, and we have not announced any plant changes yet," said Whirlpool spokesperson Jody Lau. "We're obviously in the process of designing a new organization, and that requires some complex decisions. So, we obviously need to review all of the information we have collected."
This is from the Montgomery [AL] Advertiser
Maytag CEO Ralph Hake addressed fears of job losses in a combined company.

"I do recognize that in any combination like this, where duplicate positions may exist, it is reasonable to expect that some jobs will be eliminated," he said in a letter to employees, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Hake said Fettig assured him that "the best talent and contributors available" from both companies will be offered jobs in a combined company through a fair and open evaluation process.
Whirlpool spokesmen Steve Duthie said it's too early to discuss plant closings, the fate of Maytag's corporate headquarters in Newton and job losses in general.
 
J

Joe Cruse

#6
Jennifer Kirley said:
Isn't Whirlpool owned by GE? I thought it was.
GE makes their own appliances under the GE and Hotpoint brands. Whirlpool, as far as I can tell, is on its own.
 
M

morgand - 2006

#7
This seems to be happening more and more often

This (buyout with promises then bye-bye purchased company employees, etc) seems to either be happening more and more often or we are just hearing about it more often with the changes in media (more access to info with the net). The same thing happened with the American Airline takeover of TWA. You would be vary hard-pressed to find an old TWA employee still with AA today.
 
R

ralphsulser

#8
Joe Cruse said:
GE makes their own appliances under the GE and Hotpoint brands. Whirlpool, as far as I can tell, is on its own.
Whirlpool is not owned by any other company that I know of, and makes their own products plus the Sears Kenmore brands. I worked there one summer eons ago and built both name brands.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#9
Whatever else we may learn, 4,500 jobs lost in Maytag plants and offices is nearly 1 out of every 4 employees at Maytag before the merger (Maytag had about 20,000 employees, Whirlpool had 60,000+)

Nobody I recall reading expected that kind of job cut after the merger. There was talk that one of the Maytag plants with high union wages might face renegotiation of the contract to save jobs. It appears now that renegotiation was not on Whirlpool's agenda at all.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#10
Jim Wynne said:
Do you have a source for that? Who told them their fears were groundless? Here's some information that indicates that both Whirlpool and Maytag were noncommital as to decisions on the fate of Maytag plants:

This is a quote from a Whirlpool spokesperson from the Marion [IL] Daily Republican:


This is from the Montgomery [AL] Advertiser
I am working from memory and I admit I wasn't terribly involved nor commited (chickens are "involved" in a breakfast of eggs and bacon, pigs are "committed")

Here is one article where the Maytag employees were led up the garden path:
WHO-TV—Des Moines, IA
WHO-TV
Des Moines, March 31, 2006 - Workers at Newton's Maytag plant no longer have to question who will purchase it, but now comes the question, will Whirlpool Corporation keep the company's jobs in Newton? The North American Operations president told us he'll have more answers in the next 30 to 60 days.

We asked him if Whirlpool does decided to close the Newton plant, will the company offer employees jobs at other sites. David Swift says he isn't making any promises yet. "It's just too early for me to speculate on that and until we have gone through our 30 to 60-day process, I really don't wanna create any false expectation."

Employees will have a shot at making a good impression on Swift when he comes to meet and greet them next week. He says he's seeking input from his former competitors, the current Maytag workers in Newton. "I'm looking forward to personally engaging with Maytag employees and having a chance to shake their hand and look at them eye-to-eye."

Swift also added that while it's all up-in-the-air right now, there will be opportunities within the new company. He says Maytag's workers are highly skilled and they've built a solid brand that has a good reputation in the market place. "We think a lot of Maytag's existing employees will have good career opportunities with Whirlpool and we're anxious to have a chance to get to know them better."

Employees would like to hear something more definitive from their new leader, but Swift assured us he's very sensitive to the stress that Maytag workers have been through in the past year. He says the heads of both companies are working extremely hard to make this transition over the next few weeks just as smooth as possible.
So does this mean if 4,500 lose their jobs, but 1,500 are offered other work (relocating) within Whirlpool, that 3,000 did NOT [make] a good impression on Swift ?:(
 
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