“Goodbye, Indiana --- Hello, Mexico: The Whirlpool Plant Closing*”
Ethics in Practice Case
1) Was the Whirlpool Plant Closing just another “business decision”, or did it carry with it social and ethical responsibilities and implications? Explain.
This was not only a business decision, but it carried social and ethical responsibilities with it because the company was thinking for the benefit of its shareholders and consumers by making more energy-efficient products while keeping consumer prices fair. By moving the operation to Mexico this allowed the company to do so. But their ethical and social responsibilities to the community and to their employees were not held up due to lay-offs and relocation. Whirlpool did not consider, address, and/or value the impact of the plant closing and how it would affect vendors, suppliers, and the community as a whole. Thus they disregarded the American economy to meet consumer expectations and increase shareholder investments.
2) What are the legal and ethical responsibilities of Whirlpool in a plant-closing case such as the one in Evansville, Indiana?
Whirlpool’s legal responsibilities were to abide by the WARN Act.The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (WARN Act) is a United States labor law which protects employees, their families, and communities by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide sixty- (60) calendar-day advance notification of plant closings and mass layoffs of employees. Employees entitled to notice under the WARN Act include managers and supervisors, hourly wage, and salaried workers. The WARN Act requires that notice also be given to employees' representatives (i.e. a labor union), the local chief elected official (i.e. the mayor), and the state dislocated worker unit. The advance notice gives workers and their families transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other employment, and, if necessary, to enter... [continues]
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