By Frank Antosiewicz, Plastics News Correspondent
Benton Harbor, Michigan -- Whirlpool Corp. will shutter its refrigeration plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas, by mid-2012 and reduce its worldwide capacity by about 6 million units, the company announced 28 Oct.
The announcement follows a report last week that plastic component supplier Fortis Plastics llc had filed a WARN letter to terminate 93 employees by 1 4-18 Nov at its Fort Smith moulding plant.
"During the quarter, we experienced weaker than expected global industry demand and elevated material costs," said Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and ceo, in the quarterly statement.
Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool said it is eliminating more than 5000 positions, primarily in North America and Europe. Production from Fort Smith will be consolidated into current North American sites. Local reports said Fort Smith has about 1000 employees.
The company also said that it will relocate its dishwasher production from Neunkirchen, Germany, to Poland in January.