Whirpool Corporation

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………….3 II. Business Decision………………………………………………………………………………………….3 III. Legal and Ethical Responsibilities………………………………………………………………….4 IV. Federal Stimulus Funds…………………………………………………………………………………6 V. Community and Stakeholder Impact…………………………………………………………….7 VI. Legislative Prevention…………………………………………………………………………………..8 VII. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………………….9 VIII. Works Cited………………………………………………………………………………………………..10

Introduction
Whirlpool Corporation has factories and plants scattered all over the nation. One plant in particular was faced with the harsh news of relocation. In August 2009, the Whirlpool Corporation publicized its Evansville, Indiana plant would be moving in 2010 to Mexico. This factory was a producer of top-freezer refrigerators for the last 54 years. One can only imagine the reaction to this news not only from the employees but as well as the surrounding community. Whirlpool cited the need to slim manufacturing capacity and that the plant’s closure would eliminate 1,100 full time jobs. Whirlpool Corp was one of many manufacturers to see a sales collapse from the economic recession and housing market decline. Closing the Evansville plant was a decision to strengthen its North American manufacturing operation (Smith, 4).

Whirlpool also stated that their icemaker production and Refrigeration Product Development Center would be relocated. These factories employed around 300 workers. Those workers would be faced with the choice of moving to the new location or face unemployment. Whirlpool saw this decision as difficult but necessary. They were thinking in light of reducing excess capacity and improving costs. They wanted to streamline their operations and also improve Whirlpool’s capacity utilization. In addition they sought the move to aid in the reduction of product overlap between plants and meet their future production requirements (Carroll, 2). Business Decision

Another standpoint that needs to be examined is whether or not Whirlpool closed the Evansville Plant as just another “business decision”. Straightforwardly, this resolution carried many social and ethical responsibilities. This was a very prejudice and unethical decision on Whirlpool’s part. The Corporation was thinking for the benefit of its shareholders and consumers. Whirlpool’s goal in relocating to Mexico was to make more energy efficient products at prices that were reasonable to consumers. If the Corporation did not move to Mexico, the plant’s expenses would not have made it possible to sell their appliances at fair prices. However, this faced Whirlpool with ethical and social responsibilities to not only their employees but also the surrounding community. Unfortunately these responsibilities were not met because of the employment layoffs and relocation to Mexico. Whirlpool devastated thousands of employees, the community, and loyal customers in the surrounding area. They did not contemplate, address, and most importantly value these stakeholders opinions. The impact of the plant closing and how it affected the local suppliers, vendors, and community are unprecedented. Whirlpool undoubtedly neglected the economy. They were unethical and only had the Corporation’s increase in shareholders and meeting consumer’s expectations on mind (Orr, 1-3). Legal and Ethical Responsibilities

As a result of the Evansville, Indiana plant closing, Whirlpool had legal and ethical responsibilities to face. The chief legal responsibility of Whirlpool was to follow the WARN Act. The WARN Act stands for the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. This Act was passed in 1988 and is a United States labor law. The WARN Act protects employees, their families, and communities. It requires that most employers reaching over 100 employees have to provide sixty-calendar day notification in advance of plant closings or mass layoffs of the companies...
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