Friday, July 29, 2011

Whirlpool to Cut 20-25 Salaried Jobs in Fort Smith
By Lance Turner 7/27/2011

Whirlpool Corp.'s Fort Smith plant will cut 20-25 salaried jobs before the end of the year, according to a statement from the appliance manufacturer. "Demand for major appliances in the U.S. is at recessionary levels," Kristine Vernier, a spokesperson for Whirlpool, said. "Whirlpool has confirmed that a salaried reduction in force at its Fort Smith plant is necessary to better reflect current demand and volume.

"Approximately 20-25 salaried positions will be eliminated by the end of the year through layoffs or retirement," she said.

Vernier said Whirlpool employs about 1,055 people, including 105 salaried and 950 hourly positions.

The layoffs are the latest at the appliance-maker's Fort Smith plant, which has laid off and rehired workers as demand for its products rises and falls. The company had also shifted production of some of its Fort Smith products to a plant in Mexico.

As recently as 2007, Whirlpool was reported to be the ninth largest employer in Arkansas, with 4,200 employees at the company’s Fort Smith plant. But the number of employees working there has since declined.
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A year ago, the company said it employed 2,150 people in Fort Smith.