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The Associated Press August 19, 2010, 3:20PM ET

Whirlpool announces layoff at Arkansas plant

The Whirlpool Corp. refrigerator plant in Fort Smith has announced a new round of layoffs, but the company won't say how many jobs will be lost.

The company issued a statement saying that the layoff would begin in October after production of counter-depth refrigerators ends. Whirlpool says workers were advised late last year of the layoff. Seasonal layoffs are to follow in November, when demand customarily weakens.

The company steadily laid off workers over the past few years after much of the work once done at the plant was moved to a factory in Mexico. The recession also weakened demand.

The Fort Smith plant had 4,600 workers in 2006. At the start of this year the plant had around 1,000 employees, though Whirlpool at the time announced a callback of 400 workers.

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