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Whirlpool Corp. to Shut Jackson Plant; 500 Positions Lost

By wmadministrator

Whirlpool Corp. has announced that it will close its dishwasher plant in Jackson, Tenn., as part of a companywide reorganization plan to reduce costs.
The plan will reduce the company’s global workforce by 5,000; of those, 500 are employed at the 557,000-s.f. Jackson facility. Whirlpool plans to move the Jackson operations to its plant in Findlay, Ohio.

The announcement to close the Jackson plant came only three months after the company closed its plant in La Vergne, Tenn., which also employed 500 people. Since January 2008, Whirlpool has also closed facilities in Oxford, Miss.; Puebla, Mexico, and Reynosa, Mexico.

“We have seen a sharp drop in demand in North America and Europe during the third quarter, and we do not expect demand conditions to improve in the near term,” said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and CEO. “The global credit crisis has had a profound negative impact on what was already a weakening and very fragile global economy. Declining home values, rising unemployment and very low consumer confidence levels will likely prolong a negative demand environment at least through the middle of 2009. In anticipation of this environment, we have announced substantial cost and production capacity reductions to adjust our business cost structure to expected demand levels.”
The company employs about 73,000 people worldwide.