Whirlpool cuts not expected to impact Clyde plant

CLYDE Stuck in a financial spin cycle, WhirlpoolCorp. announced Tuesday it will cut 5,000employees f
Sarah Weber
May 24, 2010



Stuck in a financial spin cycle, WhirlpoolCorp. announced Tuesday it will cut 5,000employees from its European and North American operations.

A spokeswoman for the company said the Clyde Division, which manufactures washing machines and dryers, would be largely unaffected by the announcement.

The Clyde site of the 73,000-employee companywill lose four office employees who report to thecorporate headquarters, she said.

"Clyde is a manufacturing site, but there are some individuals that report to other departments," said Whirlpool spokeswoman Lisa Fell.

She said those employees have already been notified they will be "reduced."

The workforce reduction announcement coincided with Whirlpool's quarterly earnings report, which saw a 7 percent decrease compared to last year's third quarter.

The household appliance manufacturer blamed lower global demand, higher material and oil-related costs and lower asset sale gains on the decrease.

Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool Corp. chairman and chief executive officer, outlined the scale-back in a release Tuesday. In addition to the reduction in workforce, Whirlpool will close its Jackson, Tenn., production facility and consolidate its operations with the Findlay, Ohio, plant. Additional plant closures announced in January include facilities in LaVergne, Tenn., Oxford, Miss., and two plants in Mexico.

The four positions lost at the Clyde Division are part of a 500-employee reduction of salaried positions throughout North America. Whirlpool will cut 1,900 of the 5,000 jobs from European operations.

Fettig said the company expects to save $275 million annually from the cuts.

"While decisions to eliminate jobs and close facilities are very difficult, they are necessary to create a cost-effective business structure," Fettig said. "These changes will ensure that our company is proactively taking the necessary steps to adjust its cost structure and production capacity to lower expected demand levels."

Personnel at the Clyde plant said they could not comment on the announcement and directed all questions to Fell.

"Given the state of the business, Whirlpool wanted to take some action to streamline the operation," she said.

The company is anticipating the poor economy will force a 10 percent decrease in unit shipments in 2008, compared to 2007.


Whirlpool Corporation

Headquarters: Benton Harbor, Mich.

Annual Sales: $19 Billion

Employees: 73,000

Brands: Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht

Clyde Division manufactures: Washing machines and dryers