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Boom, Bust, ExodusThe Rust Belt, the Maquilas, and a Tale of Two Cities$
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Chad Broughton

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199765614

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199765614.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 June 2021

Resist or Reinvent

Resist or Reinvent

(p.89) 6 Resist or Reinvent
Boom, Bust, Exodus

Chad Broughton

Oxford University Press

Annette Dennison Was asleep when a girlfriend called her with the news. It was mid-morning on October 11, 2002, her thirty-fifth birthday. Annette, a self-proclaimed “night owl,” had worked the second shift the night before and pulled into her driveway in Monmouth at 1 a.m. after the sixteen-mile trip from the warehouse in Galesburg. Monmouth, over forty years after Michael Patrick made his first commute to Appliance City in 1959, was still a town of about 10,000. Home to a hog slaughterhouse on one side and little Monmouth College on the other, Monmouth claimed to be the hometown of gambler, gunfighter, and lawman Wyatt Earp. “No way!” She sat alone, dazed. Her boys were at school. Her husband, Doug, was at the factory getting briefed by managers from Newton. Happy birthday, Annette, she thought. Now find something else to do with your life. A flood of emotions overwhelmed her that morning. She had been stuck in the factory since she was 22 and didn’t care for the mind-numbing work. Recently she had spent her evenings on an electric forklift in the Regional Distribution Center zipping through a landscape of brown cardboard boxes. She loaded and unloaded washers, dryers, microwaves, stoves, and refrigerators in and out of semis, one after the other, all night long. Most Maytag appliances built in Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio came to the cavernous warehouse across the street from Appliance City. On the forklift Annette would sometimes daydream about getting out, but the work had become comfortable. She had spent nearly her entire adulthood in the factory. She had girlfriends, drinking buddies, and an assortment of familiar and friendly faces she would miss. It was through them that Annette had developed strong loyalty to the factory and even to the brand itself since she started in 1989, the year of the first Maytag refrigerator. A million questions popped into her head. She had always been a Type A personality and planner, and this was so sudden. She had no idea what to do.

Keywords:   Butler Manufacturing, Carl Sandburg College, Gates Rubber Company, Hoover, September, Town Tavern, steadfast loyalty to Maytag factory, unemployment compensation

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