Whirlpool Closing Evansville, IN Plant

share this news:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Whirlpool is shutting its Evansville, IN refrigerator plant at the end of this week, eliminating 1,100 jobs at a factory that has been a mainstay in Indiana since 1956. According to a report in Sunday’s New York Times, the appliance maker plans to move its refrigerator manufacturing to Mexico.

At the Evansville plant’s peak in 1973, the facility employed nearly 10,000, with hourly wages approaching $20. One 17-year veteran of the Whirlpool production line expressed the bitterness of many employees when the company announced it’s decision.

“This country made Whirlpool what it is,” Connie Brasel, who made thermal liners for refrigerators, told the Times. “They didn’t get world-class quality because they had the best managers. They got world-class quality because of the U.S. and their workers. And now they want to pack up and move to Mexico. I find it offensive.”

After the announcement, the International Union of Electrical Workers put up a billboard in Whirlpool’s headquarter’s city, Benton Harbor, MI, reading “Shame on Whirlpool for building a new plant in Mexico to take good-paying jobs our of the U.S. during our nation’s tough economic times.”

Whirlpool officials defended the move, saying the factory was undercut by high costs and underused capacity. Jody Lau, a Whirlpool spokeswoman, said the plant was “uncompetitive from a cost standpoint” and that Whirlpool is “always looking for ways to improve its operating efficiencies to help it stay competitive.” Ms. Lau also noted that the company still will maintain 20,000 of its 67,000 global employees in the U.S., including 300 research and development jobs in Evansville.

Ironically, Whirlpool is shutting the Evansville plant at the same time that competitor General Electric is expanding its appliance operations in Louisville, KY, about 100 miles to the northeast. GE is hiring 420 workers to build hybrid water heaters now made in China.

You Might Like:

  • Indiana Auto Services Firm Growing HQShield Global Partners plans to invest $4.15M and create up to 135 new jobs in Downtown Evansville over the next few years.
  • Breaking News: General Electric Moving HQ To BostonNew York, Rhode Island, Georgia, and at least eight other states were vying for the project, but in the end General Electric Co. has elected to relocate its global headquarters from Fairfield, CT to Boston.
  • NTN Driveshaft Adding 500+ Jobs in IndianaNTN Driveshaft Inc. and its Japan-based parent company NTN Corporation will grow their Indiana operations, establishing a new manufacturing plant in Anderson, IN that is expected to ultimately create up to 510 new jobs.
  • OxyChem To Invest $145M In Louisiana ExpansionThe new product will enable the efficient production of next-generation refrigerants, which have low global-warming potential and ozone depletion potential.
Connect With Us:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubetumblrinstagram
SHARE
Previous articleToyota to Open $1.3B Mississippi Plant
Next articleMemphis Launches Ultra High-Speed Research Link
Business Facilities is a leading full-service media brand specializing in the site selection marketplace. Through a bi-monthly magazine, e-mail newsletters, a news portal, and its LiveXchange event, Business Facilities has created a dynamic community for C-level executives and economic development organizations.