Maytag plans to lay off 50 production workers at its Newton, Iowa, U.S. plant, according to Ted Johnson, president the United Auto Workers Local 997. According to Johnson, the layoffs will cut the plant's production work force to about 1,000 workers.
Johnson said Maytag said the layoffs were necessary because there has been no growth in sales of products produced at the plant.
The plant produces three lines of washers and their companion dryers, including Maytag's original Neptune front-load washing machine, a top-load washer known as the Dependable Care and a top-load called Atlantis.
The plant's work force dropped to 1,000 in August 2005, but a number of workers had been called back, putting the number back to 1,050 before the new round of layoffs, Johnson said. The plant's work force was 2,600 in 2001, he added.
However, jobs have been cut since then, with the company saying it would not put any new product lines in the plant until costs were cut. The company, citing wages and benefits paid to union workers, says the Newton factory is the company's highest-cost plant. (DesMoines Register)
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