Human Resources, Manufacturing, and Retail

Appliance maker lays off employees

February 5, 2018
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Whirlpool Corporation global headquarters
The global headquarters of Whirlpool Corporation is located in Benton Harbor. Courtesy Whirlpool

An appliance maker in the region has laid off a group of workers.

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation laid off workers last week in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph as part of a global fixed-cost reduction plan.

Whirlpool did not disclose the number of affected employees or the departments where they worked.

Kristine Sherman — Whirlpool’s senior manager of global media and public relations — provided a statement to the Business Journal saying the layoffs are “unfortunate but necessary.”

“In October last year, we committed to reducing global fixed costs by $150 million to better position our company for future growth and profitability,” the statement said. “We are doing this through a number of actions that touch all of our regions globally.”

Most of the workforce reductions were “voluntary retirements, attrition of open roles and job changes,” but some were “involuntary separations,” according to the statement.

“​Last week, those affected in the U.S. were notified, and most concluded their work with us by Friday,” the statement said.

Sherman said the company does not plan for additional personnel changes “in the foreseeable future.”

Whirlpool Corporation reported to investors last month its 2017 net sales were $21.3 billion, compared to $20.7 billion in 2016.

Its full-year ongoing operating profit was $1.5 billion, or 6.8 percent of sales, compared to $1.6 billion, or 7.8 percent of sales, in the prior year.

Whirlpool

Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) is a global appliance manufacturer.

The company has 92,000 employees and 70 manufacturing and technology research centers.

It markets its products under a number of brands: Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, Jenn-Air, Indesit and more.

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