Newton based Maytag is starting the process of closing one of its Illinois plants today to shift production to Iowa and Mexico. About 380 union workers are losing their jobs in the first phase of the shut down of the refrigerator production plant in Galesburg, Illinois. Maytag says the plant is on scheduled to be shut down by December of 2004. Workers are being laid off based on seniority as Maytag moves production of the refrigerators to its Amana plant and Mexico. Maytag C-E-O Ralph Hake says the Galesburg plant lagged in cost, quality, safety and delivery within the system, and there was no way to fix it. He says they have no plans to shut down any other facilities. The Galesburg plant employs 14-hundred union workers and 300 management employees. Union workers protested the move earlier this year in Newton.
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