Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nordyne to Move 700 Jobs to Mexico

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nordyne to Move 700 Jobs to Mexico

Article excerpt

Nordyne will move 700 Missouri jobs to Mexico and close plants in Boonville and Poplar Bluff.

The company, based in OFallon, Mo., says it will spend $40 million on a new state-of-the-art campus in Saltillo, Mexico, where it will make the heating and air conditioning systems now made in Missouri.

The Poplar Bluff plant, which employs 500, will close by 2014, the company said. The Boonville plant, employing 200, will remain until 2015.

This is absolutely no reflection on the workforce in Boonville or Poplar Bluff, their dedication or loyalty. Both plants have performed well and done everything that has been asked of them, said David LaGrand, chief executive of Nordyne, in a letter to workers.

Our industry has been shrinking, and it is now down from previous highs by 30 percent, he said in the letter. We hoped the industry would recover by now, but it continues to languish due to the burden of heavy regulations and our economy.

The affected workers are not members of a union.

Nordyne is owned by Nortek Inc., whose products include audio- video equipment, range hoods and bathroom fans, among other products.

In a conference call with analysts Friday, Nortek CEO Michael Clarke said the move will generate cost savings that will enhance our competitiveness.

The entire move will cost $45 million to $50 million, he said. The company offered no estimate of the savings it expects. Nortek, based in Providence, R.I., earned a profit of $9.5 million last year compared with a loss of $55. …

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