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Last Thursday, I posted a first call to action diary in response to this email I received from Richard L. Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO with an action petition:

He wrote last week:

"The Whirlpool Corp. is closing a refrigerator manufacturing plant in Evansville, Ind., putting more than 1,100 people out of work. Even worse, Whirlpool will continue to produce these refrigerators, but not in Evansville and not anywhere else in America. They are planning to manufacture them in Mexico, where weaker labor and environmental laws make them "cheaper" for Whirlpool to produce."

1,100 jobs may not seem like a lot to some, unless of course, one happens to be one of those unlucky ones in Evansville, Indiana who got their notification of their coming pink slips from Whirlpool, which is closing its plant on March 26th and moving to Mexico!

2nd Call to Action Petition under the fold....

Richard Trumka wrote further explaining their (and our) predicament:

"This is outrageous and unacceptable, especially in light of Whirlpool’s profitability and the $19 million dollars in economic recovery money Whirlpool recently received from the federal government as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Those are OUR economic recovery funds, not Mexico’s."

So what is Whirlpool doing to repay America for bailing them out? They're taking that $19,000,000 in American taxpayer money, and using it to turn their backs on the American workers!  

Richard Trumka knows first-hand the agony that those 1,100 American workers are facing and is doing something about it, but he cannot do it all alone. This is where we come in:

"To protest Whirlpool’s decisions and demand good jobs in America, I’m heading to Evansville next Friday to rally and march with local workers and labor leaders—and I’d like you to join me. No, I’m not asking you to join me in person, but I would like you to sign a petition in solidarity with the Evansville workers for me to deliver to Whirlpool’s management.

Too many people have lost their jobs. Too many jobs have been sent overseas. Enough is enough. Whirlpool’s management can’t take our money, shut down our factories and lay off our workers. It’s not acceptable—and together we’re going to deliver a loud and clear message to Whirlpool: Keep It Made in America and Save Our Jobs."

Just moments ago I received this email from Sherrie Vanover
Proud Member of IUE-CWA Local 808

Dear Robert,
Wow! What a response. In just a few days, more than 38,000 of you have signed our petition to Whirlpool to Keep It Made in America and Save Our Jobs. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

As a proud union member and 18-year employee of Whirlpool in Evansville, I can’t tell you how much it means to all of us in our community to have your support. We’re gearing up for a huge rally on Friday with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka at the Whirlpool plant here in Evansville, and we would love to be able to bring even more petitions."

Please forward this e-mail right now to 10 friends and ask them to click on this link and tell Whirlpool: Keep It Made in America and Save Our Jobs:

Now is the time to act, as Whirlpool plans to start closing its refrigerator plant in Evansville, Ind., on March 26. The refrigerators now manufactured at this plant will be produced in Mexico, eliminating 1,100 local jobs. Meanwhile, Whirlpool—the world’s largest home appliance maker—enjoys healthy profits and has received a $19 million economic matching grant that should be creating jobs here in America.

Won't you please, PLEASE join Richard Trumka, Sherrie Vanover, and all the fine folks in Evansville, Indiana and me and sign his action petition today? It will only take a few moments of your time to send Whirlpool a message loud and clear that FREE TRADE IS NOT FREE, that we all stand together in solidarity behind our American workers and we're willing to fight the good fight to keep good paying American jobs right here in the USA!

Thank you all in advance for standing together with Evansville in solidarity!

Originally posted to ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 02:07 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  My Local NPR Station Had Been All Over This (22+ / 0-)

      story for months (out of Southern Illinois University). It is kind of heartbreaking to be honest. At least two months ago (they knew this was coming) they interviewed the head of the union at the plant.

      She said they had asked Whirlpool what they were paying workers in Mexico, at least let them know cause they might offer to work for the same wage if they could keep their jobs. They were told, to strongly paraphrase, "it doesn't matter, we've already decided to move the facility. It is a done deal."

      I might also add there is a HUGE Toyota plant in Evansville, which might help people understand (his comments about tort reform for one) a few of the comments made by Dan Burton (R-ID) in the hearings today. I should also note I think they got around $475M in tax breaks to locate there.

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

      by webranding on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 02:13:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  read tons of links on globalization... (8+ / 0-)

        ...and I'm from the old school that says "charity begins at home". Oh, I've heard all this talk on the intertubes about a North American Union that Bush already penciled in for us(circa 2005) that will scrap US sovereignty, and I've got to tell ya that I'm just as skeptical as the next guy on conspiracy theories as everyone else here. But when the roosters start coming home to roost and I see more and more evidence every day, it is a little bit too unsettling for me.

        My grandfather and his two brothers fought in the Pacific in WW2, and I can't help but say, if they could see America now with this so-called free trade business sending our good jobs to the nations they helped defeat, if they would just take it on the chin like we Americans do today. Just my 2 cents.

        "Peace is the protector of genius. War is the mortal enemy of both peace and genius."

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 02:39:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is happening again and again - with the (6+ / 0-)

          growth and industrialization of 3rd world countries, manufacturers can relocate jobs to these areas with their poor environmental and anti-labor attitudes.

          Then they can sell what they make to the emerging middle class in these countries.

          So it doesn't matter to them they are gutting the American dream -- they are making money.  If the US middle class collapses, it doesn't bother them - they're still making money.  

  •  And to think I was just frige shopping! (7+ / 0-)


    •  Fridge info (3+ / 0-)

      It means a lot more than you may be aware of:

      The Whirlpool Corporation, based in Benton Harbor, Mich., makes Whirlpool, KitchenAid, and Gladiator products. The company has gobbled up Admiral, Amana, Jenn-Air, Magic Chef, and Maytag and all of these Whirlpool brands account for about 27.3 percent of major appliance sales in the U.S., followed by General Electric brands—GE and Hotpoint—(25.1percent), and the Sears Kenmore (16.7 percent).


      Whirlpool makes appliances for Ikea, Sears Kenmore, and side-by-side built-in refrigerators for Thermador.

      From Consumer Reports.

      Subscribe to CR or goto the Library and find their reefer recs issue. I did and they are a great source for info/reviews.  
      AFSCME Local 127

  •  What happened to: (13+ / 0-)

    Recently, at a White House meeting that was meant to reveal the tax reforms to ensure American multinationals start paying corporate taxes and keep jobs within the US, President Obama spoke strongly about the existing US system, giving the example of India. He said, it encourages paying "lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, New York."

    John Kerry was talking about this when HE ran and we still don't have it!

  •  Hey "ImpeachKingBushII." If My Memory Is Correct (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ImpeachKingBushII, Losty, HylasBrook

    you live in or near Evansville. My parents live in Mount Carmel, IL so I've spent more then a little time in Evansville. I am no expert on the town, but cause of the Toyota plant, all the secondary business associated with it, and a few others things before the downturn the city was kind of witnessing an economic "rival."

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by webranding on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 02:25:03 PM PST

    •  sorry never even visited there... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, webranding

      ...but my best friend years ago was from Lafayette, Indiana. Man could he shoot some hoops! Said they all ate, drank and slept basketball. I just moved from Isle of Wight, VA way out in the country to Philly PA last December. I love Philly!

      "Peace is the protector of genius. War is the mortal enemy of both peace and genius."

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 02:58:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ya buy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ok, it is complete bullshit that they would do this but the last time I was in Evansville the union was on strike at that plant which was trying to cut costs.

    So, they shouldn't take money from tax payers if they were going to close shop but the workers did do this to themselves in this case.

    I am pro-union but at some point there is only so much value to, and only so much you can pay someone who stands around and pushes a button all day.

    •  What were they on strike for? (0+ / 0-)
      •  Wages I think (0+ / 0-)

        From what I remember they just wanted more money and Whirlpool was telling them they were struggling to keep the plant open.

        Again, it was a few years ago and didn't really have much relevance until just now so I didn't pay complete attention to it only that there was definitely a strike at that plant and I remembered thinking that was going to be the end of that plant...sure enough...

        •  I don't think so... (4+ / 0-)

          From the Courier-Press.  Highlight is mine.

          October 2008: Whirlpool announces it will reduce its work force by 5,000 positions by 2009. Those include 500 salaried positions in North America. A spokeswoman said nearly all Whirlpool factories will be affected but declined to give details.

          February 2009: Whirlpool and its employees reach a new three-year contract, averting a strike. The company agreed to keep a pension, though freezing it, rather than offer an enhanced 401(k) plan. The agreement also included pay raises and a new plan for health insurance.

          July 2009: Whirlpool announces it wants to lay off between 80 and 100 employees and asks for volunteers to step forward. Earlier in the week, the company reported a profit of $78 million for the second quarter of 2009, which was down 33 percent from the $117 million the company had reported for the same period a year ago.

          Aug. 28, 2009: Whirlpool says it will close Evansville plant, eliminating 1,100 jobs. The production will move to Mexico.

          Also from the article:

          "I've kind of just felt personally like it was coming," said Paul Britt, a 32-year-old Henderson, Ky., native who has worked for the company since 2001. "A lot of the old-timers, people who have been here for a while, they've been saying for 50 years this place was going to Mexico ... but nobody really believes it."

          Britt, who said he makes $16.79 per hour working on the production line, called his wife from the meeting "as soon as I heard the word 'closure'."

          $16.79 an hour AFTER 9 years?  

          Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.

          by EdgedInBlue on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 04:20:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  $16.79 hr. / 9 years (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gogol, ImpeachKingBushII

            That's what's so terrible about this.  

            If pure market forces were the only thing to consider, we'd all be living in tin shacks like half the third world, which is where our competition is.  Mass plummet to the lowest common denominator.

            There is more to a US product than the product itself, there's the quality of life that America should expect.  But try getting that through to the friggin' CEO's of some of these outfits.  

            People don't thrive on a Wal-Mart wage.

            *This witty, lively comment has been recalled for your protection.*

            by mechboots on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 05:35:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  OK I think you're an anti union plant now (10+ / 0-)

      "Employees here in Evansville did nothing wrong," Saletta said. "In fact, by every account they did everything they could to meet the company's ongoing goals to help increase productivity and reduce costs. We are extremely grateful for the dedication and commitment over the years. With that we will be doing everything to help them through this difficult transition."

    •  Really? Workers did this to themselves? (9+ / 0-)

      Why is it that labor gets blamed for everything?

      Sure, Whirlpool moved the plant to Mexico so they could pay less wages, but the difference between what American workers made with or without the hourly pay raise is great enough that even union 'give backs' wouldn't have kept Whirlpool in the US.

      Autoworkers get blamed for 50 years' worth  of bad decions made by parochial auto executives when GM foundered.  

      Autoworker wages didn't bring GM down and neither did Whirlpool workers.

    •  This doesn't have a damn thing to do with wages (6+ / 0-)

      Except for the fact that Whirlpool apparently is more interested in giant banker-style profits than they are in making sure that American workers are paid a wage that would allow them to buy one of their refrigerators.  

      Whirlpool wants to avoid not only unions (which work tirelessly to defend worker's rights to a safe workplace, a decent wage and benefits), but they want to avoid regulation, environmental safety requirements, and labor laws that Mexico doesn't have.  They've calculated that the higher (potential) taxes they could be subjected to are less than the cost of doing business in the US.  

      I'm so disappointed in this decision- I just bought a new Whirlpool refrigerator 2 months ago when our old Maytag died.  I was happy to get an American made product from a union plant.  

      The workers most certainly did NOT do this to themselves.  Whirlpool isn't screwing just their workers with this decision, they're screwing the whole country.  

      •  what famous American entrepreneur said... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gogol, mamabigdog, Dirtandiron

        "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.

        Many people think that by hoarding money they are gaining safety for themselves. if money is your ONLY hope for independence, you will never have it. The only real security that a person can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability. Without these qualities, money is practically useless.

        It is not the employer who pays wages -- he only handles the money. It is the product who pays the wages.

        There are two fools in this world. One is the millionaire who thinks that by hoarding money he can somehow accumulate real power, and the other is the penniless reformer who thinks that if only he can take the money from one class and give it to another, all the world's ills will be cured.

        A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.

        My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me."

        Henry Ford

        "Except for the fact that Whirlpool apparently is more interested in giant banker-style profits than they are in making sure that American workers are paid a wage that would allow them to buy one of their refrigerators.

        You're in good company!  
        Henry Ford, too, believed that he should pay his workers enough so that they could afford to buy a Ford from him! I'd bet he could teach Whirlpool a thing or two about patriotism towards country, honor and integrity, and loyalty to the workers who helped build them into a successful, and profitable business.

        "Peace is the protector of genius. War is the mortal enemy of both peace and genius."

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 04:50:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You've hit on something important (3+ / 0-)

        Other industries, seeing that Wall Street gets away with obscene bonuses and profits will naturally want some of that for workers' expense.  Another reason why banking industry bonuses and profits need to be reined in.

  •  I would love to see a media story... (7+ / 0-)

      on how Obama called the CEO of Whirlpool and invited him to the WH for a discussion on this projected closing. It is possible that federal government officials have already worked with them but once Obama called up one of the CEO's like this for a little frank discussion of their future in the USA, we could see a different action by Whirlpool.

      It could ultimately be a move that is the reverse of Reagan's firing of the air traffic controllers in 1981. We need a President to stand up for our workers, dammit.

      Obama needs to tell Whirlpool that every refrigerator produced in this new Mexico factory would have a "Protect US Workers" tariff of $100 per unit applied to any units that came back into the USA for a period of 5 years or until they opened another factory here in the USA that employed at least 1100 union workers.  

    "Training is simply a stimulus being applied to the body with the purpose of getting a specific adaptation." Craig Ballantyne

    by NC Dem on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 02:41:11 PM PST

    •  Sign me up (7+ / 0-)

      That would be great but it will never happen.

      I think it would actually violate NAFTA and Mexico would start putting a tariff on US made goods but as with China, who gives a shit, the amount of jobs we could save or relocate back into the US by ending our trade agreements with those countries would far outweigh the amount of US jobs that are created by exporting to those countries.

      But at the end of the day, we all know these trade agreements aren't about exporting to those countries it's about creating more profit for the CEOs and stockholders who have sent these jobs overseas...AKA wealth redistribution.

    •  Just another bunch of savvy businessmen. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gogol, Dirtandiron

      Rahm might hit them up for a campaign contribution, but Obama calling them out?  Really?

      "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

      by goinsouth on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 03:12:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What are they getting $19million for? (3+ / 0-)

    The story is not entirely clear- what exactly is Whirlpool getting the $19 million in stimulus dollars for?

    •  good question... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, HylasBrook guess is the government wanted to help the struggling US manufacturing sector, and honestly didn't know they planned to move to Mexico. At least, that's what I hope, anyway.

      "Peace is the protector of genius. War is the mortal enemy of both peace and genius."

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 03:04:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whirlpool to move more jobs to Amana (4+ / 0-)

        Des Moines Register

        Whirlpool Corp. said today it will shift production of some icemakers from an Indiana facility to its Amana refrigerator plant later this year, creating 60 jobs.

        The Michigan-based company also plans to invest $20 million in the Amana plant to upgrade equipment, make it more energy-efficient and improve production processes.

        The company received a $6.5 million forgivable loan today from the Iowa Economic Development Board.

        Whirlpool also seeks a $500,000 grant from the Iowa Office of Energy Independence for the project, state records show.

        The company said the project would help retain 1,600 jobs.

  •  I have signed the petition, however (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it is worth pointing out that there are 7 million illegal immigrants working non-agricultural jobs in the United States at a time when there are 15 million officially unemployed and another 10 million discouraged or working only part time while needing full time work. Life is pretty grim in this country for a single worker or a couple without minor children whose unemployment benefits have run out. They don't have another country to return home to.

    Richard Trumka is on record as favoring amnesty for illegal workers. I question how concerned he is about the 1,100 who are about to lose their jobs. It is time for union leaders to return to working for American workers instead of their personal interests.

    •  Hmm blame unions illegal aliens (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, Dirtandiron

      Sounds like Republican talk to me.

      •  My objection is to policies that hurt American (0+ / 0-)

        workers, unions that support those policies and companies that exploit existing policies to hurt American workers. If that isn't a Democratic position, then the Democratic party is Republican.

        •  Democrats are NOT Republicans (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Please, please.....Read the respective party platforms.

          Republicans will HURT you on purpose; Dems won't.

          I'm worn out already, so please don't make me list the hundred of important, everyday, kitchen table issues that clearly show the difference.

          Time to get back to work electing better Dems, agreed.
          And to lobby harder for election reform, campaign finance reform.

          And media reform.

          Media Reform Action Link

          by LNK on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 03:29:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with you, however I object to being (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            called a Republican for standing up for American workers, and particularly for the poorest American workers, many of whom are now among the long-term unemployed. I am an old left Democrat, not a cocktail party Democrat.

    •  look I really don't have a beef with... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, trashablanca, melpomene1

      ...Mexico or their citizens coming here to find honest work to support themselves and their families back in their native country. America was built on the backs of immigrants!  Both my grandfather's parents were German Jews who came here (legally) at the end of the 19th Century. They were farmers, but they both lost their 350 acre farm and their lives as a direct result of the Great Depression. The problem is, if American corporations keep sending the good our jobs overseas, then nobody's going to have a home or a farm, and I'm afraid as more people get desperate to just make enough to survive that America is heading for some serious social problems. Maybe even riots in the streets, burglaries, armed robberies, civil disobedience, and mass unrest and increasing violence. Hungry, jobless, and homeless people do tend to get desperate, and desperate people do get very violent.

      "Peace is the protector of genius. War is the mortal enemy of both peace and genius."

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 03:27:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Honest work" is not obtained (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gogol, Dirtandiron, Bluefin

        by sneaking into another country illegally and taking a job illegally by fraud. Having said that I will concede that were I Mexican I might well now be working in this country illegally myself. However, that would be a bad thing for this country and that is reason enough for us to prevent it being done and to repatriate those who are here illegally now.

        There are three primary reasons that less educated Americans like most of those who work in that factory are getting a raw deal: allowing other countries run up huge trade surpluses with us by manipulating currency exchange rates, mass immigration of less educated workers who compete with similar American workers for jobs and reduce their wages, and technological changes. We should rectify the first two in addition to going after companies that behave badly.

        •  You might want (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to ask who is hiring the so called illegal workers. OK, Iowa, Nebraska, KS, these places are big agricultural. and full of meat (pig and cattle) packing plants that hire and exploit the hell out of "illegals". Get out of Des Moines and take a look, or stay in the city and see who is changing the sheets and serving the food at the local hotels. Sixty jobs??

        •  I guess I trespassed and committed fraud... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gogol, Lefty Coaster

          ...both crimes. You see, when I became disabled in May, 1997, it took nearly 3 years for me to win my SS disability case in Federal Court. In the meantime, I survived on $127 a month food stamps, ate out of more Food Lion dumpsters, and slept on the streets more times than I care to remember. This may be why today, I have a highly-developed "honor grad of the school of hard knocks" empathy for my fellow man.

          If I came to this country illegally, I would try my best, just like the millions of Mexicans and other hispanics do, to try and show America that I deserve to be treated like a civilized human being, instead of like a criminal or an animal. They can't change our laws, can they? Sometimes when one has to provide for one's family, we are forced to do things that under normal circumstances we wouldn't have done. Maybe the laws need to be changed. Maybe the corporations who claim American citizenship as a unalienable right of "corporate personhood", could learn something about humility and true citizenship from the Mexicans who love this country like it were their own.

          "Peace is the protector of genius. War is the mortal enemy of both peace and genius."

          by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:03:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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