Whirlpool Bites Hands Of American Taxpayers That Feed It
By Dave Johnson, February 19, 2010
Whirlpool, recipient of federal stimulus "smart grid" dollars, is closing an Evansville, Indiana freezer-topped refrigerator and icemaker production plant and moving the 1,100 jobs to Mexico.
Whirlpool knows that taxpayers will shoulder the unemployment and other costs. Closing a plant like this also means all the supplier, transportation and other third-party jobs go away. For example, 100+ Disabled Workers Could Lose Jobs
Whirlpool employees aren't the only ones losing their jobs when the plant closes. More than 100 blind or disabled individuals could also be left jobless. The Evansville Association for the Blind has issued a public plea, asking businesses to consider using their employees.
There will be more home foreclosures, and local businesses are stressed or have to go out of business. Whirlpool is profiting from making all this someone else's problem.
Whirlpool is even playing nearby Iowa against Indiana, shaking the state down for millions to move just 60 of the 1,100 jobs there.
So, of course, Wall Street celebrates the move, the setting states against each other, the cost-shifting and the resulting "increase in margins."
The workers are still trying to do something about this. Inside Indiana Business writes about a rally on February 26,
Organizers have invited guests including AFL/CIO President Richard Trumka and Jim Clark, president of the IUE-CWA union with which Local 808 is affiliated.
Employees with the least seniority are expected to lose their jobs first, March 26. The remaining workers will be let go until production ceases in early summer.
Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President, writes:
The Whirlpool Corp. is closing a refrigerator manufacturing plant in Evansville, Ind., putting more than 1,100 people out of work. Even worse, Whirlpool will continue to produce these refrigerators, but not in Evansville and not anywhere else in America. They are planning to manufacture them in Mexico, where weaker labor and environmental laws make them “cheaper” for Whirlpool to produce.
This is outrageous and unacceptable, especially in light of Whirlpool’s profitability and the $19 million dollars in economic recovery money Whirlpool recently received from the federal government as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Those are OUR economic recovery funds, not Mexico’s.
You can sign their Whirlpool: Keep It Made in America petition here:
Will Congress listen?
BUT WHIRLPOOL CONTINUES TO PROFIT - ON THE BACKS OF WORKING PEOPLE OFFSHORE, AND THE UNEMPLOYED IN THE U.S.
February 2, 2010
Shares of Whirlpool rallied more than 8% to close at $82.23
Early Tuesday, Whirlpool Corp. said it rode lower costs and higher volume to better than double its fourth-quarter profit. It reported earnings of $95 million, or $1.24 a share, on the period, up from $44 million, or 60 cents in the final three months of 2008. The latest results include a charge of $46 million, or 40 cents a share, tied to a legal action, the company noted.
Sales rose 13% to $4.86 billion in the December quarter but would have been up 5% without currency translations.
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The average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet research had been for Whirlpool to earn $1.34 a share on revenue of $4.53 billion.
Whirlpool said the results were boosted by "cost reduction and productivity initiatives and increased sales volume," partly offset by lower prices.
"We significantly improved our global cost structure and operating performance despite a substantial decline in global demand levels," said Jeff Fettig, chief executive, in the Whirlpool's earnings report.
"In addition, we generated record free cash flow and strengthened our financial position," he added.
Looking ahead, the Benton Harbor, Mich.-based company said it expects 2010 earnings of $6.50 to $7 a share -- well ahead of the consensus forecast of $4.52. Sales volume is expected to increase in the U.S., Latin America and Asia, while remaining flat in Europe.