Open letter to J.C. Anderson and David Swift

Open letter to J.C. Anderson and David Swift
Date May 15, 2006
Section(s) Opinion
To the Editor:

There are two things that I know for sure. I am losing my job at Maytag, and this letter won’t make any difference to the two gentlemen it is addressed to.

Mark Parriot (our plant manager) gave us his opinion that J.C. Anderson was the most honest man he had ever met. Are you? Is it true that Ralph Hake was sent to Maytag to bring it down? Do you have any second thoughts to the fact that Ralph Hake walked away with $20 million, and 2,000 Maytag employees are left without jobs? The answer we are always given is: “Unfortunately it is a business decision.”

The sad truth is, we are people, not just business decisions. Ripplewood walked away with $40 million, just because they had bid to buy Maytag. Unfortunately most of us have no idea what we will walk away with. The majority of the workers are just common people. We are not business savvy, and haven’t obtained millions in business deals and investments. All we have ever wanted was an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. These are people who have come to work sick, going through divorces, deaths in the family and the aches and pains of your body wearing out from repetitive work.

Mr. Swift stated that Ohio can produce machines at a ratio of 5 to 1. That is not even a fair comparison. They are running three shifts at full capacity. We could do the same production level at our factory, but no one wants to publicly admit that.

A letter to the editor is a wonderful place to vent, it will not change anything, it just gives the writer a feeling of satisfaction to be able to express their opinion. The reality is: A decision has been made, that is irreversible, and I personally will never hear from Mr. Anderson or Mr. Swift. They do not respond to people like me. I am just a casualty of a “business decision.” I am a number, not a name. There are a lot of numbers out there that I worry about, even though Mr. Anderson and Mr. Swift do not. I worry about my friends who don’t have enough time to retire. I worry about co-workers with medical problems. A friend who has a liver disease, yet comes to work everyday. What will they do without insurance? Co-workers who have children with special needs or who have battled cancer or had surgeries that have affected their physical capabilities. Where will they get insurance and at what price?

I am like everyone else, I have my beliefs of greater powers and life hereafter. When my life is over and I am at the Pearly Gates, I hope I am not one who will be judged as a “business decision,” or by any “business decision” that I have made.

Kathy Richardson



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