Whirlpool lays off 5,000 to cut costs

photo Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. plans to cut 5,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its workforce, to reduce costs. The company is building a plant in Cleveland, Tenn., where it employs 1,400 people.

Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. plans to cut 5,000 jobs, about 10 percent of its workforce, as it faces soft demand and higher costs for materials.

The world's biggest appliance maker said Friday it will close its Fort Smith, Ark. plant, which employs 884 hourly and 90 salaries workers, and shift dishwasher production out of Neunkirchen, Germany. The company expects those moves will save $400 million by the end of 2013, but Whirlpool declined to specify other cost-cutting measures.

Whirlpool employs nearly 1,400 workers at its cooking appliance division in Cleveland, Tenn.,