Whirlpool, smokers snuff smoking conflict

A lawsuit Whirlpool Corp. filed against a union at its refrigerator plant in Evansville has been dismissed after the parties reached a settlement, according to the Evansville Courier & Press. Terms were not disclosed.

Whirlpool sued after an arbitrator forced the Benton Harbor, Mich., company to reimburse insurance surcharges for employees who smoke. A decade of the surcharges, which increased to $500 in 2004, mounted to $750,000.

In the suit, Whirlpool contended that the arbitrator’s decision violated the collective bargaining agreement between the company and union. The union countered that Whirlpool was trying to thwart the arbitration process and delay the arbitrator’s award.

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