Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell says he’ll try to get what’s called “trade adjustment assistance” for the workers losing their jobs at the Maytag plant in Newton. Boswell says those funds are generally tied to lost jobs due to a foreign entity — but Boswell says Maytag is a global company. He says it’s a long shot, but it’s worth a try.
Boswell is a democrat who represents the district that includes Newton — and says he doesn’t know if the loss of the Maytag plant could have been prevented. Boswell was he personally felt before there were merger talks that something wasn’t right when he talked to Maytag leaders. Boswell says the company stopped its advertising and research and development — which led him to say “something’s not tracking here.”
Boswell is critical of Maytag C-E-O Ralph Hake’s inability to keep the Newton plant open. Boswell says, “Every time I walked away from this guy Hake, and listen to him talk I never felt good.” Boswell says he never felt Hake was gonna “bust himself as I would hope to save this great company.”
Boswell says better leadership at Maytag might have made a difference. Boswell says if the leaderships had been different, maybe we could have done something. He says, “But this guy (Hake) that’s walking away with and 18 to 19 million dollars in a golden parachute didn’t seem like it was communicating in that direction.” Boswell is running for reelection and his opponent State Senator Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny has been critical of Boswell’s action in the Maytag situation. Boswell says he has done all he could to help keep Maytag in Newton.
Lamberti issued this statement on the Maytag announcement: “I am saddened and disappointed by today’s decision by Whirlpool to close the washer/dryer facility and Maytag headquarters in Newton. Newton is a strong community with hard working people. I pledge to work with the Governor and the people of Newton to bring more good paying jobs to the community.”
Republican Congressman Jim Nussle, who is running for governor, released this statement
Today’s news is another sign we must work to improve Iowa’s business climate by refocusing our efforts on growing our economy from within if we want to attract and retain entrepreneurs, offer exciting job opportunities and allow our homegrown businesses to thrive. We must give farmers, small businesses, workers, entrepreneurs and retirees reasons to choose Iowa, not excuses to leave the state with their talent and their resources.”
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin released this statement on Maytag:
“I am deeply disappointed by Whirlpool’s decision to cut thousands of Iowa jobs in Newton. This will hit the community very hard. Maytag has been an integral part of the Iowa economy for many years, and its workers are second to none. I believe Whirlpool failed to acknowledge the quality workforce Iowa has to offer and is cutting many valuable jobs in our state”.
“When Maytag announced their plans to sell the company, I was deeply concerned that this could lead to loss of jobs in our state. Though many of us worked to protect Iowa jobs and highlight the benefits of maintaining Maytag’s Iowa facilities and workforce, unfortunately today, those concerns were realized. Now we will work together to ensure that the affected workers and their families will get the assistance and training they need to get back to work as soon as possible.”
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley released this statement:
“Today’s announcement from Whirlpool was a tough pill to swallow. Newton and the Maytag employees showed their determination, work ethic and ingenuity while exhibiting to the Whirlpool officials that it would be a bad decision to leave the community. Unfortunately, Whirlpool didn’t see it the same way the rest of us do.
“Now it’s time to focus on helping the employees get the assistance they need and working with Newton to pick up the pieces after this devastating news. Today I’ll be placing a call to Department of Labor Secretary Chao to reiterate the need for the federal government to do everything it can to help these workers get the reemployment services they need to help them prepare for future employment. And, I’ll continue to assist the employees, their families and the community in any way I can to help them through this tough time.”