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.
Will Congress listen?