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Whirlpool lays off another 950 U.S. workers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tom Philp   
MARION, Ohio - Whirlpool Corp. announced this week that it is laying off another 950 factory and salaried workers at plants in Ohio and Michigan, although the company said 570 of those layoffs are temporary.  

The 300 salaried employees all worked at Whirlpool's Benton Harbor, Michigan headquarters.

The company said a drop in consumer demand led to the additional layoffs, expected to total about 5,000 worldwide by the end of next year.

Whirlpool said it doesn't know when some of the workers will be recalled.

Whirlpool announced the cuts in its third-quarter earnings report. The company attributed lower global unit volumes, higher materials' and oil-related costs, and lower gains from asset sales to this year's performance compared to 2007.

Whirlpool's results included $10 million in asset-sale gains compared with $41 million of asset-sale gains and the sale of an investment in the previous year's third quarter.

"We are in the midst of a rapidly changing and very challenging economic environment. We have seen a sharp drop in demand in North America and Europe during the third quarter, and we do not expect demand conditions to improve in the near term," Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement. "Our third quarter results were negatively impacted by declining demand and record levels of cost inflation. These unfavourable factors were partially offset by improved price/mix and productivity.

"The global credit crisis has had a profound negative impact on what was already a weakening and very fragile global economy," he continued, adding world economic conditions likely prolong that environment at least through the middle of 2009.

Fettig announced substantial cost and capacity reductions - closing five manufacturing plants and cutting 5,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2009. Four closings were announced earlier this year - two in Mexico, one in Oxford, Mississippi, and one in LaVergne, Tennessee, for a total of 2,000 jobs.

For the full-year 2008, Whirlpool now expects earnings per diluted share from continuing operations to be in the $5.75 to $6 range compared with its previous estimate of $7 to $7.50 per share. The company has suspended its share-repurchase program.

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This October 30, the Furniture Bank will hold its annual Chair Affair Gala at the International Centre, home of the Canadian Furniture Show. Seen here are a selection of refurbished chairs created for the event by designers such as Jane Lockhart and Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman. The organisation aids low-income or recovering clients who are leaving homelessness, escaping an abusive domestic situation, are new to the country or are settling as refugees furnish what might otherwise be an empty home. Click here to read Ashley Newport’s report.



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