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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oxford to Lose 1000 Jobs

That's a whole hell of a lot in a town this size. And when you extrapolate that number to include the families impacted by each job loss, and the compounded effect on the community, it becomes a whole hell of a lot more again.

Whirlpool, true to what seems to be it's long term plan to relocate all of its manufacturing overseas, is closing its plant in Oxford, Mississippi. That sucks, and is yet another sign that this town has been lost for the working class, and will continue headlong into its unfortunate destiny as a town for the rich and/or retired.

By way of lotus at folo we get word of this story from the Oxford Eagle (this link will only work for about 24 hours, due to the absolute ridiculousness of the Eagle's Web site):
In a climax to months of rumors, Whirlpool Corp. officials are to announce today that the company’s Oxford facility will close by the end of this year, according to at least one area official.

State Rep. Warner McBride was the first to release official word today that the announcement was pending, saying that as a representative of many affected families he is “stressed beyond words.”

“The families, especially the children of those who lost their job, need the community’s support,” he said in a written statement.

“I am going to be working night and day with the Mississippi Development Authority to make sure each employee does indeed receive all of their unemployment benefits, as well as needed job training so that we can put these people back to work very soon.”

Oxford Mayor Richard Howorth and Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Max Hipp declined to comment this morning. Plant officials said they were not yet ready to announce a statement....

...According to figures provided by the company recently, Whirlpool employs about 1,000 people in the Oxford plant, which builds cooking products under the Whirlpool and KitchenAid brands.

In a town where the working class (you know, the people that make the town actually function: teachers, cops, firemen, sanitation workers, etc.) have been all but priced out of the housing market (when you're ready to to throw up, just a little, in your own mouth, check out this "Havens" piece on Oxford from the NY Times last week), this will make a bad situation only worse.

And, oh, the housing glut....just wait. But that's another post for another time.


UPDATE: Subsequent reports are putting the jobs lost at 750 and not the 1000 claimed in the article and headline above, but I'm not certain that's not some spin coming from Whirlpool, with the unspoken piece being that 250 of the lost jobs here (and the majority lost at the Puebla Mexico plant also closing) will be moved to Cleveland and not "eliminated." While that may be a good way to spin it for shareholders, the net result is the same. If 1000 people are employed at the plant and it is closing, that means 1000 Mississippians losing their jobs.

3 comments: to “ Oxford to Lose 1000 Jobs

  • Mitch
    July 10, 2008 9:35 PM  

    But then again, Phil Gramm says it's all in our minds anyway.

  • jtfisher
    July 11, 2008 5:44 PM  

    Mitch,

    We've also heard the same number of 750, but as you point out, it could be spin. I'm sure it's somewhere between the two numbers. Also, about 40% of those employees lived in Lafayette County. That doesn't make it any less worse, as job loss is job loss and the economic impact will be felt hard in Oxford and Northeast Mississippi.

    From my view, the 'trickle down' is just beginning. That's the real issue with 'trickle down' economics. It works both ways. Unfortunately, it is inverse to whatever economic direction that we are heading. If things are good, the bottom end of the spectrum profits least. If bad, they suffer the most, while the top end, doesn't feel a thing.

    All for now, keep up the good work.

  • Mitch
    July 11, 2008 9:13 PM  

    You're absolutely on the money when you say it's only beginning. The mortgage mess alone, despite all the media coverage and whatnot, hasn't even begun to really impact the economy...not to the level it will anyway. And it'll be two, three years before that even stabilizes, let alone starts to rebound.

    The real issue with "trickle down" economics is that it's a line of bullshit that was sold to those with less in the hope that they'd let those with substantially more get away with murder and rape the economy for their own gain....as long as there was a chance in the minds of those with less that some of it would somehow, someday, "trickle down" their way.

    Never would, never did, never will.

    Thanks for the kind words and the comment.

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