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Published: Saturday, 10/29/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Whirlpool to add 30 temp jobs

Putnam County positions reaped from closure in Ark.

BY LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Whirlpool will add 30 temporary jobs at its 500,000-square-foot plant in Putnam County workers said. Whirlpool will add 30 temporary jobs at its 500,000-square-foot plant in Putnam County workers said.
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OTTAWA, Ohio — Whirlpool Corp. announced Friday that it would move its trash compactor manufacturing operations to its freezer plant in this northwest Ohio village as part of an effort to slash more than 5,000 jobs from its payroll in North America and Europe because of slow sales.

In a statement accompanying the company’s third-quarter financial results, it announced plans to close a plant in Fort Smith, Ark., and reduce its product output by 6 million units.

The additional trash compactor work in Ottawa will add 30 temporary jobs to the 190 positions at the 500,000-square-foot plant in Putnam County, workers said.

The former W.C. Wood Corp. Inc. plant in Ottawa, which employed as many as 215 workers making stand-up and chest freezers under contract for Whirlpool, closed in late 2009 after its Canadian owners declared bankruptcy.

In 2010, Whirlpool opted to invest $7.2 million into the plant to reopen it, and received more than $1 million in state incentives to do so.

The company, whose brands include namesake Whirlpool, Maytag, and KitchenAid, has fought soft demand since the recession and rising raw-materials costs for its products.

It has raised prices to maintain its margins, but is struggling with demand issues for its products and pricing pressure from its competitors.

The company predicts the moves will save $400 million by the end of 2013.

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirl­pool reported third-quarter profits of $177 million, up from $79 million in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $4.63 billion, short of analysts’ expectations of $4.74 billion.

To bolster its financial position, the company plans to reduce its work force by 10 percent, with most of the cuts in North America and Europe.



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