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Thread: Maytag is No More in Newton Iowa

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Maytag is No More in Newton Iowa

    Newton ,Iowa- The last washers and dryers rolled off Maytag assembly lines here Thursday October 25 2007 and the 550 workers who built them left the 2 million-square-foot factory for the last time, ending a century of appliance manufacturing in Newton under the iconic brand name.
    For many workers, it was a sad parting with a company that has provided for their families over generations. Worries had mounted since May 10, 2006, the day officials at Whirlpool Corp.which bought Maytag last year, unveiled plans to close the Maytag corporate headquarters and the local factory that made washers and dryers, leaving about 1,800 local workers to find other jobs.

    The closing is part of a larger plan to consolidate Maytag's headquarters with Whirlpool's in Benton Harbor, Mich., and shutter plants in Iowa, Illinois and Arkansas. It calls for cutting 4,500 jobs and chopping about $400 million in operating costs.
    The machines once made by Maytag will be redesigned to fit on a Whirlpool chassis and built by workers in nonunion factories in Clyde and Marion, Ohio, where they earn significantly less than the union represented workers in Newton.
    Mark Wickliff, 49, carried a sign that read "Maytag, the dependability people," among other personal belongings. He said he'll return for a few more weeks to help ship out some equipment and close the plant down.
    His family includes four generations of Maytag workers. After 26 1/2 years, he falls short of the 30 needed to retire with full benefits.
    "It's just close enough to look for another job," he said.
    Factory workers develop close friendships, many co-workers become like family, she said.
    "It's definitely a death of sorts. A death to a lot of people's lifestyle ... How can the people that allowed this to happen live with themselves?" she said.
    Many workers remaining have never worked anywhere else and a large number of them have just a high school education. Finding a job that pays $30,000 to $40,000 with good benefits will be tough.
    Company officials said about 100 workers will stay in the factory for a little while longer to oversee the shutdown.
    Work boots, cast aside by workers as they left the factory were strewn on the sidewalk by the employee entrance and some were hung over a fence where flowers and a flag had been displayed as a makeshift memorial.
    A block from the town square, the former Maytag headquarters has 55 people left out of the 900 that once ran the nation's third largest appliance manufacturer. Those who remain are responsible for the closure, a job expected to end in December.
    At its peak Maytag had 4,000 workers in Newton, a town of 16,000 people 30 miles east of Des Moines.
    Whirlpool spokesman Jeff Noel said Whirlpool had little choice but to take some major steps to fix the broken Maytag business. That meant eliminating higher cost factories and jobs.
    A mile north of the former Maytag headquarters is Newton Union Cemetery. There, in a family mausoleum, lies founder Fred Maytag.
    The washing machines will no longer be made here, but the Maytag legacy remains deeply rooted in Newton.
    Near the employee entrance a plaque in the shape of a cemetery headstone hangs on the fence that says "R.I.P." A handwritten message is scrawled on the bottom: "I love you all."http://www.examiner.com/a-1010640~Century_old_Maytag_washing_machine_factory _closes_for_good.html

  2. #2
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    Smile Not A surprise

    I remember when whirlpool was talking about how they were gonna keep maytag seperate from whirlpool guess the lied.now you can just buy a whirlpool which is cheaper then a maytag and save around 200 bucks.{The machines once made by Maytag will be redesigned to fit on a Whirlpool chassis and built by workers in nonunion factories in Clyde and Marion, Ohio, where they earn significantly less than the union represented workers in Newton.}

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Camster View Post
    I remember when whirlpool was talking about how they were gonna keep maytag seperate from whirlpool guess the lied.now you can just buy a whirlpool which is cheaper then a maytag and save around 200 bucks.{The machines once made by Maytag will be redesigned to fit on a Whirlpool chassis and built by workers in nonunion factories in Clyde and Marion, Ohio, where they earn significantly less than the union represented workers in Newton.}
    Still made in USA.

  4. #4
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    Is this why our Maytag Neptune tubs just went up in price (the one with the bearing), from $230 retail to $500 retail, in one day?


    Crazy......
    Econo Appliance Service - San Diego appliance repair experts!

  5. #5
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    Sorry for the loss of jobs but if the Maytag junk in my house is representative of the quality of workmanship it needed closing.

    [rant]
    I made the mistake of buying all new Maytag appliances in April 05 and not one single piece has looked or worked like it should. The washing machine is about to run me out of the house. It makes a clunk clunk noise when washing and a loud harmonic rumble when it spins. The stove oven and burners heat up slowly and the drawer in the bottom is almost impossible to open. The dishwasher door is cracking and the pump makes a groaning noise. The doors on the refridgerator were never aligned and I just had to replace the ice maker. The microwave door sounds like a tin can when you close it and it doesn't cook evenly. And the iceing on the whole mess is the oven quit last night. Yep, right here at Christmas when nobody would want to bake anything!

    I replaced my 15 year old Kenmore appliances that were still working with this junk just because the old stuff was looking aged. My 25 year old Maytags were also still working but the washer had started getting out of balance easily. Well the 2 1/2 year old Maytag washer is twice as bad as my 25 year old Maytag had gotten. The people we gave the old washer and dryer to are still using them and I'm probably going to have to replace my new ones soon. And the people we gave the old Kenmore stove and refrigerator to are still happy as can be with them. They can even bake stuff in their oven.
    [/rant]

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Econo Appliance View Post
    Is this why our Maytag Neptune tubs just went up in price (the one with the bearing), from $230 retail to $500 retail, in one day?


    Crazy......
    It sure is. Customers get really upset.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimahot888 View Post
    It sure is. Customers get really upset.


    The servicer gets upset too, because customers won't authorize the job anymore!


    Luckily I have 4 of those tubs left, in stock, at the old price once they're gone, no more neptune repairs
    Econo Appliance Service - San Diego appliance repair experts!

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