Maytag layoffs continue; 156 more workers to leave Friday

Maytag layoffs continue; 156 more workers to leave Friday
 
Date February 17, 2005
Section(s) Local News
Brief  
 
Maytag will lay off about 156 workers at its Newton plant effective at the end of work shifts on Friday, union officials said.

Pat Teed, president of Newton United Auto Workers Local 997, said Wednesday that the workers were named in a layoff list posted in Newton factories, including its main plant in the city of 15,600. The layoffs, which includes 48 maintenance positions, will put the Newton production work force at around 1,275 workers, compared with around 2,500 as recently as 2002.

Workers hired as far back as 1997 are impacted by the latest layoff.

Maytag confirmed earlier this month that the layoffs were planned but declined to disclose the number of workers to be idled because of competitive reasons.

Karen Lynn, a Maytag spokeswoman, has said the layoffs are necessary because the Newton-based company plans to reduce production of some product lines to avoid building up inventories. The plant manufactures Neptune, Atlantis and Dependable Care lines of washers and companion dryers. A new 27-inch Neptune model scheduled for release in next month is being manufactured through a parntership with Samsung.

Maytag has said that its Newton plant is its highest cost manufacturing operation. A four-year contract was reached last July following a nearly four-week strike. Even with workers agreeing to take on more of their health care costs, management officials say the plant still remains ineligible for new product platforms and none are scheduled for the plant this year.

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