Whirlpool Acquires Maytag, Eliminates Union Jobs That Can Devastate Small Communities
Whirlpool is the world's largest manufacturer of major appliances, and just like the ocean where big fish swallow up the small fish, Whirlpool acquired the much smaller 113 year old Maytag company recently. For the accountants and executives at Whirlpool, costing cutting became a major priority, and eliminating decent family wage union jobs became a high priority for the Christmas Grinches in the executive offices.
1,800 union jobs and 4,500 jobs nationwide will fall under the Whirlpool ax for thr Maytag workers. And small communities such as Newton, Iowa, Herrin, Illinois and Searcy, Arkansas will face closure, devastating the local economy's of these areas.
James Brown, a spokesman for the Machinists Union MidWest Territory summed up the problem with, " Lousy trade policies and a complete lack on enforcement of anti-trust and other measures to protect jobs and consumers leave American communities devastated". "Manufacturing jobs are the key to a strong middle class, stable families and vibrant communities. We cannot afford to lose them".
This is the trend of the last few years; a White House obsessed with one-sided "free trade" legislation that only encourages continued job exports to labor cheap nations. An antiworker and antiunion bias that favors companies that acquire others only to eliminate jobs not to continue to operate the company, but to resell the business for a profit to others including foreign concerns. Whirlpool reportedly sold Hoover Vacuum Cleaner to a Chinese company, Techtronic for $107 million last week, which effectively eliminates the jobs at Hoover and related brands such as Regina and Dirt Devil.
Small communities count on employment opportunities such as a major town supplier of work. When a large corporation pulls out of small communities, social problems such as increased family breakup, divorce, alcoholism, drug use, child or wife abuse, and crime may result. Right wing "family" organizations seem to miss this fact and are absent on economic issues that are really at stake in family and society breakdown issues created by the breakdown of the manufacturing economy. It should become a vital goal of the new Democratic controlled Congress to reverse this decline of the American manufacturing and the exodus of higher paying union jobs that support a middle class. The Bush Administration has unfortunately played the role of Nero all too well in the last few years, only "fiddling around" as the American manufacturing economy burns down and takes decent paying union jobs with it.