April 1, 2006 - Posted at 12:54 p.m. CST
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) _ Yesterday was the last day at work for
275 employees at Whirlpool Corporation's Fort Smith plant. The Fort
Smith plant makes refrigerators, ice machines and trash compactors,
and employs about 46-hundred people. The company says it had added
workers in response to demand for a certain model of refrigerator,
but is letting workers go now that demand has slacked off. The
employees who are laid off will be eligible for state benefits,
continue to receive health insurance and continue to build up
seniority with the company.
The company expects to rehire the workers as openings at the
plant occur through normal attrition. More layoffs are expected in
the fall, however, when the plant shifts some operations to a new
plant in Mexico.