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Whirlpool Closes Canadian Factory
May 14, 2004
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Whirlpool Corp.'s appliance factory east of Quebec City has closed, affecting 600 employees.

Production at the Montmagny plant, which was founded in 1867 and had several owners, is being transferred to the United States and Mexico. The company first made the announcement 2 years ago, saying the Montmagny site was no longer efficient.

The factory was the town's biggest employer for more than a century. Whirlpool officials said the company would inject U.S. $1 million into an investment fund to help create jobs in the region.

The original Montmagny plant was founded by Amable Belanger, who began by making plows and cooking pots. In 1907, it started producing its famous wood- and coal-burning Belanger kitchen stoves, the center of many French-Canadian homes.

After expanding into electric ranges in 1954, the Admiral company bought it in the 1960s and added refrigerators and freezers to its product line. It was taken over by Inglis, and the, finally, by Whirlpool.

Whirlpool has annual sales of more than $11 billion. Its 68,000 employees work in nearly 50 manufacturing and technology research centers around the globe. (Associated Press)

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