Photos: Views on NAFTA in Galesburg, Illinois

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The Mitchell family. Harlan Mitchell, 53 worked at Maytag as the leadman for forklift drivers for 16 years. His wife Amy worked there for eight years. Both got retrained with the help of a government adjustment program, but have not been able to find good jobs with similar salaries and benefits. Amy retrained as a welder but never found a welding job. “We had to bring our standard of living down, says Harlan, we had to really watch what we spend”. He says he has had to work two jobs, many of which were a step backwards in terms of pay. “It changed dramatically. Like they said everything started going up but the paycheck. Food went up, gas went up, everything went up. Oil went up - everything went up but the paycheck - it’s like a struggle - you've got to work three jobs to make ends meet. "
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The Mitchell family. Harlan Mitchell, 53 worked at Maytag as the leadman for forklift drivers for 16 years. His wife Amy worked there for eight years. Both got retrained with the help of a government adjustment program, but have not been able to find good jobs with similar salaries and benefits. Amy retrained as a welder but never found a welding job. “We had to bring our standard of living down, says Harlan, we had to really watch what we spend”. He says he has had to work two jobs, many of which were a step backwards in terms of pay. “It changed dramatically. Like they said everything started going up but the paycheck. Food went up, gas went up, everything went up. Oil went up - everything went up but the paycheck - it’s like a struggle - you've got to work three jobs to make ends meet. "
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The last three refrigerators to roll off the line on September 14th, 2004 when Maytag shut down its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Illinois. The last three models now sit in a makeshift museum at the back of a downtown antiques mall. The workers signed them a they passed on their last day of employment at Maytag.
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The last three refrigerators to roll off the line on September 14th, 2004 when Maytag shut down its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Illinois. The last three models now sit in a makeshift museum at the back of a downtown antiques mall. The workers signed them a they passed on their last day of employment at Maytag.
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The last three refrigerators to roll off the line on September 14th, 2004 when Maytag shut down its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Illinois. The last three models now sit in a makeshift museum at the back of a downtown antiques mall. The workers signed them a they passed on their last day of employment at Maytag.
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The last three refrigerators to roll off the line on September 14th, 2004 when Maytag shut down its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Illinois. The last three models now sit in a makeshift museum at the back of a downtown antiques mall. The workers signed them a they passed on their last day of employment at Maytag.
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The last three refrigerators to roll off the line on September 14th, 2004 when Maytag shut down its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Illinois. The last three models now sit in a makeshift museum at the back of a downtown antiques mall. The workers signed them a they passed on their last day of employment at Maytag.
[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-views-on-nafta-in-galesburg-illinois/thumbs/thumbs_img_4678.jpg]260
The last three refrigerators to roll off the line on September 14th, 2004 when Maytag shut down its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Illinois. The last three models now sit in a makeshift museum at the back of a downtown antiques mall. The workers signed them a they passed on their last day of employment at Maytag.
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The last three refrigerators to roll off the line on September 14th, 2004 when Maytag shut down its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Illinois. The last three models now sit in a makeshift museum at the back of a downtown antiques mall. The workers signed them a they passed on their last day of employment at Maytag.
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The last three refrigerators to roll off the line on September 14th, 2004 when Maytag shut down its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Illinois. The last three models now sit in a makeshift museum at the back of a downtown antiques mall. The workers signed them a they passed on their last day of employment at Maytag.
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John Eskridge, former Maytag employee. After Maytag shut down its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Illinois, Eskridge tried to turn his hobby of collecting antiques into a business. But it’s been a struggle. “I noticed at the auction, stuff didn't bring the money it used. auctions used to bring more money and it slowed down. People didn't have that extra income", Eskridge says. He also says losing a job at Maytag meant losing healthcare and retirement benefits and a steady paycheck. “It's harder because you don’t see what you’re going to get, one week you might make $500, then the next week you might make $5. So it’s different then that steady check when every week you know exactly what you got coming in and you can plan for everything. Without a steady check you can’t do that"
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Michael Patrick started working at Maytag in 1959. He became a senior union official representing workers throughout the region. His daughter and son-in law, his wife, and his wive’s mother and step-father all worked at Maytag. The 2004 shutdown, he says, hurt families and devastated the city. “It just set Galesburg back, stopped the growth and the opportunities. One thing now for our younger people, when they’re done with their schooling here, a lot of them leave, whereas before they could stay”. But he doesn’t attribute everything to NAFTA. He said 5 plants he represented were closed down over the period of three years. “We could have done better without NAFTA, it made it easier for corporations to move work, but a lot of the problems were not NAFTA. Technology cost us a lot of jobs that were gone forever."
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This is all that’s left of the Maytag refrigerator company that was shut down in September 2004 in Galesburg, Illinois. Maytag moved production to Reynosa, Mexico and Amana, Iowa. The site, the size of 40 football fields used to be called Appliance City. The factory produced 2,000 refrigerators a day employing 2000 people at the plant and related shipping and trucking businesses. Now it’s mostly rubble and weeds. <br /><br />
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This is all that’s left of the Maytag refrigerator company that was shut down in September 2004 in Galesburg, Illinois. Maytag moved production to Reynosa, Mexico and Amana, Iowa. The site, the size of 40 football fields used to be called Appliance City. The factory produced 2,000 refrigerators a day employing 2000 people at the plant and related shipping and trucking businesses. Now it’s mostly rubble and weeds. <br /><br />
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This is all that’s left of the Maytag refrigerator company that was shut down in September 2004 in Galesburg, Illinois. Maytag moved production to Reynosa, Mexico and Amana, Iowa. The site, the size of 40 football fields used to be called Appliance City. The factory produced 2,000 refrigerators a day employing 2000 people at the plant and related shipping and trucking businesses. Now it’s mostly rubble and weeds. <br /><br />
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This is all that’s left of the Maytag refrigerator company that was shut down in September 2004 in Galesburg, Illinois. Maytag moved production to Reynosa, Mexico and Amana, Iowa. The site, the size of 40 football fields used to be called Appliance City. The factory produced 2,000 refrigerators a day employing 2000 people at the plant and related shipping and trucking businesses. Now it’s mostly rubble and weeds. <br /><br />
[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-views-on-nafta-in-galesburg-illinois/thumbs/thumbs_img_4707.jpg]220
This is all that’s left of the Maytag refrigerator company that was shut down in September 2004 in Galesburg, Illinois. Maytag moved production to Reynosa, Mexico and Amana, Iowa. The site, the size of 40 football fields used to be called Appliance City. The factory produced 2,000 refrigerators a day employing 2000 people at the plant and related shipping and trucking businesses. Now it’s mostly rubble and weeds. <br /><br />
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Galesburg’s Sandburg Mall. It used to be bustling with people but has just a handful of stores left and barely any shoppers. Since Maytag left in 2004, the city lost a quarter of its population. The median income dropped nearly 30 percent. Store owners and union leaders said Galesburg lost a big portion of its middle class community. “For the longest time, there were a lot of people in Galesburg that sent their kids to college, go downtown shopping, it was a good thriving area. take away that income from them and what happens?” says Dave Bevard, former Union President of the Machinists in Galesburg<br /><br />
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Galesburg’s Sandburg Mall. It used to be bustling with people but has just a handful of stores left and barely any shoppers. Since Maytag left in 2004, the city lost a quarter of its population. The median income dropped nearly 30 percent. Store owners and union leaders said Galesburg lost a big portion of its middle class community. “For the longest time, there were a lot of people in Galesburg that sent their kids to college, go downtown shopping, it was a good thriving area. take away that income from them and what happens?” says Dave Bevard, former Union President of the Machinists in Galesburg<br /><br />
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Galesburg’s Sandburg Mall. It used to be bustling with people but has just a handful of stores left and barely any shoppers. Since Maytag left in 2004, the city lost a quarter of its population. The median income dropped nearly 30 percent. Store owners and union leaders said Galesburg lost a big portion of its middle class community. “For the longest time, there were a lot of people in Galesburg that sent their kids to college, go downtown shopping, it was a good thriving area. take away that income from them and what happens?” says Dave Bevard, former Union President of the Machinists in Galesburg<br /><br />
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Galesburg lost a quarter of its population after Maytag and three other factories left town in 2004-2006. Maytag alone had $80 million payroll payout a year. Many businesses never recovered as the residents’ disposable income dropped and the city’s tax base suffered.
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Galesburg lost a quarter of its population after Maytag and three other factories left town in 2004-2006. Maytag alone had $80 million payroll payout a year. Many businesses never recovered as the residents’ disposable income dropped and the city’s tax base suffered.