Maytag to Cut More Jobs at Newton Plant
Feb 9, 2005
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Maytag plans to lay off more factory workers later this month at its washer and dryer production operations in Newton, IA, U.S. the appliance maker has confirmed.

Karen Lynn, a Maytag spokeswoman, said the layoffs are necessary because the Newton-based company plans to reduce production of some product lines to avoid building up inventories. "It's a rebalancing," she said.

Ms. Lynn said that for competitive reasons, Maytag isn't disclosing the product lines or the number of workers to be laid off as of February 21.

Pat Teed, president of Newton United Auto Workers Local 997, said the union hasn't been told how many workers will be affected.

Maytag has laid off about 330 production workers in Newton in the past year, trimming the hourly work force to an estimated 1,430 people, compared with around 2,500 as recently as 2002.

Ralph Hake, Maytag chairman and chief executive, has said the Newton factory, its highest-cost plant, will shrink unless costs are cut substantially. The company believes that as Maytag and its competitors develop products, demand will drop for older appliance lines made in Newton.

Teed has said the union is working with the company to try to make the plant more cost-effective. (The Des Moines Register)

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