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posted: 7/26/2011 8:25 AM

Whirlpool can change Maytag retirees' benefits

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Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A federal judge has ruled that Whirlpool can change benefits for about 3,000 people who had retired from Maytag.

Whirlpool bought Maytag in 2006 and later closed the Maytag corporate headquarters and a factory in Newton.

Whirlpool had said it wanted to change the retirees' medical benefits to bring them in line with current Whirlpool employees.

Des Moines television station WHO reports that Whirlpool is expected to drop prescription drug and other medical benefits for the retirees.

Local 997 retirees chairman Larry Shaver says the union is considering an appeal.

Whirlpool is based in Benton Harbor, Mich.