Hoover Co. (North Canton, OH, U.S.) is cutting 330 jobs because of sagging sales of its Elite upright vacuum, its oldest product, a union official said.
The company has already cut 200 jobs and plans to cut another 130 next month, said James Repace, president of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1985, which represents about 1,550 production workers at Hoover.
Hoover spokeswoman Lynne Dragomier has confirmed that the company cut jobs but refused to say how many. Last summer the company laid off 500 production workers because of fluctuating Elite sales. All but 38 had been called back before the latest round of layoffs.
The Elite line is the last upright vacuum to be manufactured in this country by unionized employees. Introduced in 1988, it is Hoover's oldest product, Ms. Dragomier said.
The company also has plants in El Paso, Texas, U.S. and Juarez, Mexico.
Maytag Corp., based in Newton, IA, U.S. owns the vacuum cleaner manufacturer. The company will keep one of two Elite production lines open in North Canton, OH, U.S. to fill orders from stores.
But Ms. Dragomier said stores are increasingly favoring models that sell at lower prices than Hoover can afford to sell the Elite. Hoover also has newer, lower-priced Tempo and Sprint lines.
Sales in the floor-care industry were down almost 8 percent last year. Hoover also eliminated about 200 salaried workers in 2003, bringing the company's local salaried work force down to about 600. (Associated Press)
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