Workers union investigates possible Hoover purchase

By Craig Zammit and agencies

North Canton, USA: A union which represents over 800 Hoover workers at a North American manufacturing plant has initiated investigations to determine the feasibility of purchasing Maytag’s floorcare company.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1985 labour union commissioned a worker-friendly equity firm to assist investigations into the floorcare company’s financial records when Hoover downsized its North Canton manufacturing plant significantly to cut costs and relocate manufacturing.

“These jobs are simply too important to our members and to our communities for us to stand still and wait for others to determine our fate,” said Local 1985 union president, Jim Repace.

More than 500 members approved the investigation into Hoover’s financial situation, with the Lazard Bank of New York preparing the records.

“We want to see if the company is salvageable. We feel with the right management team we could put the company back together,” said Repace.

Maytag chief executive officer, Ralph Hake, has expressed his disappointment at Hoover’s results, stating that Maytag can no longer carry the underperforming product line.

The sale of Hoover may assist the takeover of Maytag by Whirlpool which is struggling to achieve final approval from anti-competition regulators including the U.S. Department of Justice.

Maytag Australia managing director, Paul McDonnell, also believes that Hoover may be on the way out.
“At the end of the day it may be up for sale and all options will be considered, including a restructure. There is still the Whirlpool part to all of this. They must approve any sale of any business,” McDonnell said.

Hoover floorcare Australia general manager, John Kelly, was contacted by current.com.au, however was unable to provide further insight on the issue, stating business as usual for Hoover Floorcare Asia Pacific.

“At this stage we are awaiting advice from the Maytag Company and are not in a position to comment,” Kelly said.

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