Maytag job cuts continues

Maytag job cuts continue
 
Date June 29, 2004
Section(s) Local News
   
 
By PETER HUSSMANN

Editor

Maytag Corp. continued its restructuring effort today as another round of employee terminations was under way at its corporate headquarters building.

Earlier this month, Maytag announced plans to cut 20 percent of its salaried workforce with a goal of removing $150 million in annual cost. The brunt of the 1,100 salary position eliminations were expected to come from the closure of its Hoover headquarters facility in North Canton, Ohio, and from downsizing employment levels within Maytag Appliances and corporate headquarters, both based in Newton. The reductions were also to be spread out over Maytag operations across the country.

Maytag spokesperson Lynne Dragomier would not comment on the job terminations under way in Newton but said they “will continue until the consolidation is complete.”

“Most of them will be completed by the end of June,” she said of the three-way merger of Hoover, Maytag Appliances and Maytag corporate. “It is continuing in both places. Positions are being affected as the business integration takes place.”

The corporate spokesperson also would not comment on the response by salaried workers to an offer to work at the Maytag production facility in Newton while the current strike between the company and UAW Local 997 goes on.

Late last week, salaried employees were offered an opportunity to work this week at the Newton production facility “in an effort to accommodate Maytag‘s customer product needs during the present work stoppage.” The offer called for salaried employees to work this week at the plant under their current salary levels.

Dragomier also would not state whether production is occurring at its Newton plant.

“The company does have contingency plans to meet customer needs,” she said. “We will implement it when it is needed.”

The corporate spokesperson was also mum on the status of talks between the company and the union.

Last week, union and management negotiators met in Chicago for two days of talks with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a federal agency set up to mediate labor disputes. At the conclusion of the meetings on Thursday, both sides said the talks would continue this week but did not state where or when the negotiations would resume.

More than 2,000 production workers are now on strike in Newton after contract negotiation talks broke off June 10. Maytag recalled more than 400 workers on layoff status, but the production employees rejected Maytag‘s offer to return to work and joined striking members on the picket line.

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