Whirlpool Corp. has completed construction of a new refrigerator plant in Ramos Arizpe,
Mexico, to produce side-by-side refrigerator/freezer models. The plant will begin production next year and employ 1,000 workers. Once the facility is operational, production of some models currently made at the company's Fort Smith, AR, plant will shift to Mexico, eliminating approximately 730 jobs in Fort Smith by October 2006.
In an industry release, Michigan-based Whirlpool said it expected that many of the affected Fort Smith employees would be recalled within 18 months, due to normal attrition at that facility. Fort Smith currently employs about 4,600 workers, producing side-by-side refrigerator/freezer models, counter-depth refrigerators and trash compactors, as well as icemaker components.