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Whirlpool to close Indiana center, move work to Michigan

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Whirlpool Corp. announced Monday it plans to shut down the last of its operations in a southern Indiana city, a plant that employed more than 1,500 workers a few years ago.

Whirlpool said it would close its Refrigeration Product Development Center in Evansville by the end of 2014 and consolidate the center's work at facilities near the company's Benton Harbor, Mich., headquarters. Whirlpool expects to spend about $18 million on renovations and equipment.

Whirlpool had about 230 employees at the Evansville center last year when it agreed to return state tax incentives for not meeting job-retention commitments.

Some Evansville employees might be given the chance to relocate to Michigan, the Evansville Courier & Press and WFIE-TV reported.

"This decision was difficult and in no way reflects on the quality of work in Evansville or the support from the local community or the state of Indiana," Whirlpool spokesman Kristine Vernier said.

Whirlpool's refrigerator plant in Evansville had about 1,100 employees when it was closed in 2010 and its production work was shifted to Mexico. The company had cut about 300 jobs from the factory in the two previous years.

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  • can't read
    At Stephen, no moving jobs top Mexico as the article states is not overseas but it's not in Indiana. Neither is Michigan
  • Whirlpool
    The real truth is that the greedy unions drove the cost of doing business out of Indiana and off to Mexico and Tennessee with just a small group going to Michigan. Many companies have found that there are thousands of productive workers happy to be employed in the south. The unions have become the scourge of the nation and the sum total of the reason for the depletion of our manufacturing jobs. They are as unamerican as communist china and reek of a socialist structure where only a few are lapped in luxury while the others get the scraps. See you in Tennessee!
  • Mixed Emotions.
    I hate to see that Indiana is losing valuable manufacturing jobs, but at least those jobs are not moving off shore. That's a plus.

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  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

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