Maytag to recall workers

Date July 13, 2004
Section(s) Local News
Brief  
 
By ANDY KARR

NDN Staff Writer

NEWTON — Maytag plans to recall approximately 100 to 120 previously laid-off workers early next week at the Plant 2 laundry facility here.

According to company spokesperson Lynn Dragomier, the employees would return to active work Monday so the facility can increase production levels to meet increasing consumer demand for Maytag laundry products.

“We increase production when market demand rises and that is exactly what is happening now,” she said.

Dragomier attributed the increased demand to several factors, including stronger consumer confidence and purchase incentives offered to laundry customers.

Recalled employees would come from the pool of workers who were on layoff prior to the June 10 strike of United Auto Workers Local 997.

Since the strike ended, the status of those workers has been unclear.

During the three-week strike, Maytag recalled approximately 400 laid-off workers. Some of those workers did not respond or declined the recall, Dragomier said. But most or all of the workers who accepted Maytag‘s offer to return to work, walked off the job a short time later to join strikers.

After the current contract was ratified and employees returned to work July 6, previously laid-off employees reported for work. An associted press story quoted one of the workers saying she was told the laid-off workers were “unreinstated strikers.”

That has left benefits — including unemployment pay and health insurance — for those workers in doubt.

Union officials have previously said they still viewed those workers as being on layoff and would file a grievance on their behalf.

Dragomier said Maytag has no comment on the issue and she again declined to comment on those workers’ classification this morning.

Calls to union officials were not immediately returned this morning.

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