Maytag needs to preserve its heritage

Maytag needs to preserve its heritage
Date May 04, 2005
Section(s) Opinion
To the Editor:

To preserve its brand name, dependability and quality recognition, Maytag needs to “come back home” by focusing on the products and the people that made it the company it is today! Maytag gained its reputation because of washers and dryers that were manufactured in Newton, Iowa, by those people living in and investing in that community.

If Maytag closes the Newton plant, it will become just like the others; a manufacturing chain with no roots, mass produced and low quality products. Consumers respect companies that have shown loyalty to its employees. They know that when a company remains loyal to its roots and those that helped build it up, through both good times and bad, it will be more likely that company will also be loyal to them as a customer. If the company can’t remain loyal to its roots, why should consumers be loyal in purchasing its products and investing their monies in that company?

The management at Maytag should reinvest in its roots; improve the machinery and processes at its Newton plant. Listen to their employees who have stood on the lines, run the presses and assembled these washers and dryers. Who better to tell you where the improvements are needed? These hard working men and women are tearing up their bodies to meet the demands of management, using antiquated and failing machines and processes. These men and women are well educated and experienced. They could provide a wealth of ideas to reduce costs, increase safety and productivity! Management condemns the Newton plant for being the highest cost plant, yet they do little to reduce these costs through improvements. Instead they pay lip service by saying “we’re working with the union to reduce costs.” Sometimes it seems that the union and its members are doing the work while the company drags its feet!

The Maytag board and upper management team need to stand up and own what is happening to this company and make the efforts to preserve its reputation, heritage and dependability not only as a solid product but also as a solid employer and investment. This cannot be done by turning their backs on Newton.

D. Ulrey



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