Maytag was built on backs of workers

Maytag was built on backs of workers
Date June 18, 2004
Section(s) Opinion
To the Editor:

Are you as tired as I am of reading negative comments about workers at the Maytag Newton plant? Those of you who have been around here for a long time remember that the corporation was built on the backs of these workers. In fact, there would be no corporation if it were not for them.

I was fortunate enough to work in the Advertising Department for 30 years, and we received all of the “dependability letters” from folks who had owned their Maytag washers for 20, 30 or more years and were still using them. The letters arrived on the average of three or four per day. The Maytag name stood for quality throughout the country.

We were known to be a small company in cornfields that made an exceptional product. We were unique — small but successful and providing a good income to all employees, management and labor (much credit to UAW). Life was good.

But then it wasn’t enough. We had to branch out, we had to become a corporation because someone might buy us. (Guess that doesn’t sound so bad now.) Then we had to be more innovative. Then we had to diversify. All those good sounding ideas. We lost our uniqueness.

Lots of other side stories on comparing now and then, which wasn’t really all that long ago. But I must resist rambling and taking those trips down memory lane.

Back to the point of my letter. Let’s stop the rhetoric that makes the workers sound greedy and worthless and acknowledge that they were just wanting their fair share for a job done faithfully day-after-day, while several management decisions are, at best, questionable.

If the paper should decide to print this, I hope that by the time it appears that a new contract has been agreed on and signed, although that won’t help those who were let go. We all want what’s best for our community, and Maytag is still playing a big part in that, so far.

Delores Versteegh



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