Maytag to add 200 jobs at Amana plant

Maytag to add 200 jobs at Amana plant
 
Date January 21, 2005
Section(s) Local News
Brief  
 
Special to the Daily News

The Maytag Corporation announced Thursday that it plans to add 200 new jobs at its Amana refrigeration plant. The company said it chose to launch the refrigerator product over foreign suppliers and company plants elsewhere in the United States and Mexico, although it declined further comment.

Michael Blouin, Iowa Department of Economic Development, said the company qualifies for a $1.5 million tax credit through the state’s New Jobs and Income program, which offers such state financial incentives to companies that promise major expansions.

Blouin said the company plans to hire 200 more workers once the Amana facility is expanded. The new workers will receive a reduced wage compared to current employees. The new hires will receive an average of $12.33 per hour, $3 per hour less on average than the plant’s other employees.

Blouin said Amana’s union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, have agreed to the lower paychecks.

The deal secures the jobs of about 360 workers, as Maytag did consider moving production to Mexico. Company officials have signed a five-year contract with the state, pledging the facility won’t be closed down or moved during that time period.

Blouin said it’s a signal Amana is in Iowa for at least the foreseeable future. He also noted that he and other state officials were in discussions with the company for about six months before the deal came together.

“Anytime you can get Amana or any other member of the appliance industry to commit to a new product line in Iowa, you have to be very, very happy about it,” he said.

Company officials and Blouin, however, are secretive about just what that new Amana product will be.

“The product itself is top-secret,” Blouin said.

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