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Author Topic: Electrolux No Longer Sucks  (Read 1020 times)


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Electrolux No Longer Sucks
« on: Mar 04 06 06:59 »
Electrolux Plant Closes, Will Not Reopen

Friday was the last day of production at the Electrolux factory in Greenville. At one time, the company was the city's largest employer, with 2,700 workers.

On behalf of Electrolux Major Appliances North America, Tony Evans, Vice President of Corporate Communications, issued the following statement regarding the Greenville factory layoffs.

"We know this process has been difficult for our employees, their families and the community. Plant closings are always a very difficult decision and always a last resort. We have worked hard to make a smooth transition, and will continue to make transition resources available. We have provided a complete package of support programs, including a fully staffed resource center for counseling and job assistance, and free career workshops at local community colleges- initiated by Electrolux with Michigan Works! This is in addition to the approximately two-year closure notification that was provided."

24 Hour News 8 went to Greenville Thursday night to get the mood of the town.

"There's gonna be a a lot of sad faces, but I think everybody is under the same impression, that it's over with and it's time to go," said former Electrolux worker Jerry Cannon.

The last shift began at 3 p.m Friday, and there were some tears and some cheers as people left the plant. A lot of people expressed relief now that the end had finally arrived, with all of the build-up and stress coming down to the plant's final day.

24 Hour News 8 spoke to employees Friday on their last day.

"I'm a lucky one, because my kids are raised. I ain't got everything paid for, but there's a lot of my friends that don't," said Electrolux employee Kathy Buskirk.

"Been here for 22 years, and the last day's gonna be bad, but can't do much about it," worker Rex Fuhrman told 24 Hour News 8.

"I wish everybody the best. I really do," employee Rick Green said. "I wish 'em the best of luck and everything."

Despite the hardship, some workers say they aren't looking at the Electrolux closing as a dead end for Greenville. Instead, they see it as a new beginning for a community already starting its transformation.

"I look at it as a chance to move on, to do something different with my life," said Cannon.

"Take a couple of days, but don't wait to get into training,” said Marilyn Thomsen of Michigan Technical Education Center.

24 Hour News 8 discovered that M-Tech is retraining former Electrolux workers in new fields of their choosing.

“We can build a program for any kind of training that they would require,” adds Thomsen.

From machine training to business and computer classes, more than 3,000 online computer courses, classes ranging in costs from $10 to $3,000 per session. We have come to find the cost is usually picked up by Michigan Works.

Thirty-eight-year-old Joe Robinson is a former Electrolux employee taking advantage of the programs. He recommends others do the same.

“Get in there and get their education and move on because the past ain't going to do you no good,” says Robinson. “You've just got to move on and figure out what you're going to do and go for it."

It's a closing that has received a lot of attention, even from those who don't live in Michigan. 24 Hour News 8 tracked down Chicago author Richard Longworth. He is writing a book about outsourcing and was in Greenville for research. He will use what happened to Electrolux as an example in his upcoming book.

"A wonderfully decent way of life is now being undermined by productivity by the global economy," said Longworth.

Greenville city officials are now waiting to figure out what Electrolux officials will do with the building and property that is listed for sale. Another business could move in or it could eventually be torn down. Once the land is cleaned up, a mixed-use project could be constructed at the site.


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