Appliance maker Whirlpool Corporation, said it would eliminate 4,500 jobs by closing three plants and consolidating corporate offices as it integrates a rival appliance maker, the Maytag Corporation. The restructuring moves come less than six weeks after Whirlpool completed its acquisition of Maytag, making it the nation’s largest appliance maker.
The most recent cuts are approximately 5.6 percent of Whirlpool’s work force of about 80,000 employees. According to Whirlpool, they will add about 1,500 jobs, many at two Ohio plants, reducing the net loss of jobs to 3,000 or 3.8 percent of its work force.
Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool’s chief executive said, “We are taking these actions to rapidly restore the competitiveness of the Maytag brand. This is an important step in our integration process that will allow us to drive continuing performance improvements and will better align our brands, products and operations with the markets we serve domestically and globally.”
Whirlpool is based in Benton Harbor, MI, and plans to close washer and dryer plants in Newton, IA, Herrin, IL, and Searcy, AR. According to a Whirlpool spokesman, laundry manufacturing sites in Clyde, OH, and Marion, OH, would absorb the production. Maytag’s corporate headquarters and research center in Newton, IA, are also scheduled to close as well as administrative offices in Schaumburg, IL, Canada and Mexico.