Maytag Corp. officials appeared to be making preparations Wednesday to resume production without striking workers by asking salaried employees if they would operate production lines.
The Newton, IA, U.S.-based appliance company circulated notices last week asking office staff and other salaried employees if they would be interested in operating production lines.
Company officials refused to discuss how the salaried employees responded or say whether production had resumed at the plant, where 1,525 hourly workers represented by the United Auto Workers went on strike June 10 after contract talks collapsed.
"As often happens in a work stoppage, current salaried employees were asked if any would want to work in production activities if we asked them to do so," said spokeswoman Lynne Dragomier. "It's just part of our planning."
She declined to say whether the company's stockpile of washers and dryers was adequate to supply customers, but major retailers had reported no supply problems.
The Newton factories make Maytag's premium washers and dryers, including Neptune and Atlantis models, and the Dependable Care line.
Union officials said they've seen no signs of production at the plants.
Negotiations toward a new contract resumed last week, according to a statement released by Maytag. Neither side has revealed when or where the talks are occurring. (Associated Press)
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