June 11, 2004
Negotiations between Maytag Corp. and U.A.W. Local 997 on a new labor contract covering production and maintenance employees at Maytag's Newton Laundry Products plant in Newton, Iowa, have broken off, because both sides have been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement
The union's labor agreement officially expired at 10 p.m., June 9, after two extensions. Appliance production has been halted in Newton, beginning 4 p.m., June 10.
"We are disappointed to be unable to reach an agreement with the U.A.W.," said Mark Krivoruchka, senior vice president of human resources. "Both parties worked late into the evening on Wednesday in an attempt to reach an accord. It is unfortunate that Newton Laundry employees have not been given an opportunity to vote and determine their future with Maytag.
"Newton Laundry Products continues to maintain a significantly higher cost structure than other Maytag plants because of its high benefits costs, which needs to be addressed in order for the plant to be competitive in today's marketplace."
The company has developed a contingency plan to fulfill customer orders, and production continues at the company's laundry plants in Searcy, Ark., Florence, S.C., and Herrin, Ill.