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Published: Friday, 11/7/2008

250 layoffs planned at factory in Clyde

BLADE STAFF

CLYDE, Ohio - Just over a week after announcing that it planned to move 400 jobs from Tennessee to its dishwasher plant in Findlay, Whirlpool Corp. said yesterday that it will lay off approximately 250 employees from its plant here.

Jill Saletta, a spokesman for Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool, said yesterday the cuts at the company's washing-machine factory are temporary because of slow sales.

At the time of the announcement of the job shift to Findlay, which the appliance maker said was part of a plan to eliminate 5,000 positions companywide, Whirlpool said the Clyde plant was not affected.

Ms. Saletta said employees were told Tuesday night of the cuts, which will affect the overnight shift and are to be completed by the end of the month.

The plant, in Sandusky County about 40 miles southeast of Toledo, has about 3,500 employees and manufactures washing machines under the brand names Amana, Whirlpool, and Maytag.

It is Whirlpool's largest washing-machine factory. It shared in $3 million in state grants in 2006 for plant expansion that added 550 jobs.

Ms. Saletta said those laid off would receive insurance coverage for two months from their date of layoff, "if they're not called back before that."

Workers at the plant are not unionized, she said.

Last week, as part of a global restructuring, Whirlpool announced that it planned to close a former Maytag dishwasher plant in Jackson, Tenn., and move approximately 400 jobs from there to its dishwasher plant in Findlay. Ms. Saletta said the layoffs in Clyde "are unrelated" to last week's restructuring announcement.

According to its Web site, Whirlpool is the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $19 billion, more than 73,000 employees, and 69 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world.

The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht, and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.



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