BENTON HARBOR, MICH. (Oct. 28, 1:25 p.m. ET) — Whirlpool Corp. will shutter its refrigeration plant in Fort Smith, Ark., by mid-2012 and reduce its worldwide capacity by about 6 million units, the company announced Oct. 28.
The announcement follows a report last week that plastic component supplier Fortis Plastics LLC had filed a WARN letter to terminate 93 employees by Nov. 4-18 at its Fort Smith molding plant.
“During the quarter, we experienced weaker than expected global industry demand and elevated material costs,” said Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and CEO, in the quarterly statement.
Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool said it is eliminating more than 5,000 positions, primarily in North America and Europe. Production from Fort Smith will be consolidated into current North American sites. Local reports said Fort Smith has about 1,000 employees.
The company also said that will relocate its dishwasher production from Neunkirchen, Germany, to Poland in January.