Maytag speeds up end of plant production

Maytag speeds up end of plant production
Date May 06, 2004
Section(s) Local News

GALESBURG, Ill. (AP) — Maytag plans to end all production at its refrigerator plant here in September, two months earlier than previously announced, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday.

In March, the city’s largest employer said production of its top-mount lines would continue until mid-November, while production of its side-by-side refrigerators would end in September. But Wednesday, Maytag officials told employees it would stop both production lines in September, company spokeswoman Lynne Dragomier said.

Dragomier said the decision to end production early was made because market demand for the top-mount units sagged. Maytag recently introduced a new top-mount model, which is manufactured by a South Korean company.

“This is just a two-month change in what we have been communicating all along,” she said.

Maytag announced almost two years ago it would close the 1,600-employee plant by the end of 2004 and move production to Mexico.

Although the facility will remain open until the end of the year, only “a minimal number” of workers will remain once production ends, she said.

Layoffs already have pared the plant’s work force to about 1,000 employees, Dragomier said.

Maytag’s change of plans is another blow to Galesburg’s employment base.

Last month, Butler Manufacturing, which was acquired by Australia-based BlueScope Steel, said its Galesburg factory would close.

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