Friday, August 28 2009
Michigan-based Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:HR) says it will close its Evansville facility in mid-2010, eliminating approximately 1,100 positions. Production of top freezer refrigerators will be transferred to Mexico. Icemakers are also produced in Evansville, but the company has not determined where that work will be relocated. Whirlpool is also evaluating options for the Refrigeration Product Development Center, which has 300 workers in Evansville.
It was seeking up to 100 employees and those reductions were due to start this month.
In February, workers accepted a new three-year contract, which included a pay raise of 95 cents per hour, new health insurance plan and a $350 signing bonus for most hourly workers.
BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Aug. 28 -- Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) announced today changes to its North American manufacturing operations resulting in the closure of its manufacturing facility in Evansville, Indiana. The closure will eliminate approximately 1,100 full time positions in mid-2010.
Production of top freezer refrigerators made at Evansville will be transferred to one of the company's existing manufacturing facilities in Mexico. Production of icemakers produced in Evansville will be relocated to a company-owned site yet to be determined. The announcement follows a comprehensive review of alternatives for product consolidation within the refrigeration product category.
The company also said that it is currently evaluating options for the best location for the Refrigeration Product Development Center, which is co-located with the Evansville manufacturing facility and has approximately 300 employees. A decision is expected in the near futur"This was a difficult but necessary decision," said Al Holaday, vice president, North American Manufacturing Operations, Whirlpool Corporation. "To reduce excess capacity and improve costs the decision was made to consolidate production within our existing North American manufacturing facilities. This will allow us to streamline our operations, improve our capacity utilization, reduce product overlap between plants, and meet future production requirements.
"We are announcing this decision nearly one-year in advance as part of our commitment to make the transition as smooth as possible."
Whirlpool is committed to helping the affected employees and their families with the transition. Conversations regarding transition assistance will begin immediately. The company also said it would work with local and state officials to help ensure that all available training resources are made available to affected employees, and to reposition affected facilities for future job development opportunities within the community.
The company's earnings and cash flow outlook for the full-year 2009 remain unchanged from the last update contained in its earnings release dated July 22, 2009.
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2008, 70,000 employees, and 67 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com/.
Source: Inside INdiana Business, Evansville Courier & Press