Future of Maytag in Newton to be discussed

Future of Maytag in Newton to be discussed
 
Date May 03, 2005
Section(s) Local News
Brief Photo:24913,left,;By ANDY KARRNDN Staff Writer

The future of Maytag in Newton will be discussed Friday afternoon at Maytag corporate headquarters.

Local and state leaders will attend a meeting with Maytag officials in an effo

 
By ANDY KARR

NDN Staff Writer

The future of Maytag in Newton will be discussed Friday afternoon at Maytag corporate headquarters.

Local and state leaders will attend a meeting with Maytag officials in an effort to keep Maytag‘s estimated 1,275 employees working at the Newton laundry plant.

Among those slated to attend the meeting are Iowa legislators Sen. Dennis Black and Rep. Paul Bell, Iowa Economic Development Director Mike Blouin, Mayor Chaz Allen, Newton Community Development Director Jon Ewing, a UAW 997 representative, Congressman Leonard Boswell and Sally Bowzer, a representative from Boswell’s office.

Sen. Tom Harkin and Sen. Chuck Grassley have been invited to attend, and either they or their representatives will attend the meeting.

Boswell, wrote a letter to Maytag CEO Ralph Hake dated April 27, in which he looks forward to the meeting. In the letter, he wrote:

“I am very interested in hearing from you firsthand regarding your company’s future. Maytag has always been a well-respected company, and in these difficult times I am interested in how we can strengthen your manufacturing base in our state.”

Boswell continues, “The citizens of Newton and Iowa have had a long relationship with Maytag and would like to find solutions along with you to maintain a strong future.”

The meeting comes on the heels of Maytag‘s quarterly earnings report April 22 in which Maytag announced earnings were down about 80 percent from the same quarter last year.

During the ensuing conference call, Hake indicated the future of the Newton manufacturing facility could be in jeopardy unless production costs can be decreased.

“We will work with the UAW in Newton and local and state representatives to determine the future of the Newton facility,” Hake said during the call. “Our operation plans at Newton and North Canton are not finalized. We expect to work through that in the next months and quarters.”

Following the earnings report, Maytag stock fell under $10, the lowest mark in about 14 years. The stock was trading at $9.72 in midmorning trading.

Maytag has come under sharp criticism from some analysts lately, some of which have said the company has not taken strong enough steps to outsource production, despite the company’s cost-cutting measures in 2004 year. Maytag closed a refrigeration plant in Galesburg, Ill., and slashed its salaried workforce 20 percent as part of its “One Company” restructuring plan.

“We have dramatically shrunk our volumes and workforce in our highest wage and benefit manufacturing facilities in Newton and North Canton,” Hake said during the conference call. “A lot has been done. It has been painful. It has not been enough.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: