Whirlpool's end in Fort Smith? | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Whirlpool's end in Fort Smith?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Whirlpool, which once employed as many as 4,600 in Fort Smith (now about 1,100), may be heading to zero as it evaluates continued production of side-by-side refrigerators. City Wire is all over the story and the news is dire.

Two sources told The City Wire on Monday (Aug. 22) that two companies — possibly divisions within Whirlpool Corp. — have been or will soon be at the Fort Smith plant to bid on the equipment used to produce trash compactors and built-in refrigerators (BIR). The sources independently verified the move is a clear indication the lines are leaving the Fort Smith plant, leaving only side-by-side refrigerator production at the large manufacturing facility.

“Because we’d only be producing them (side-by-side refrigerators), we were told that those (side-by-side) units were in decline and that, and this is exactly what was written, ‘plant closure was certain,’” a source told The City Wire.

In Whirlpool corporate-speak, it is studying options.

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