Dow Chemical to Cut 5,000 Jobs, Close 20 Facilities

Will also suspend operations in 180 plants

The Dow Chemical Co. on Dec. 8 announced it would cut about 5,000 full-time jobs, close 20 facilities and divest non-strategic businesses in an aggressive move to cope with dire economic times.

The diversified chemical giant also will suspend operations in 180 plants and significantly reduce its contractor workforce worldwide by 6,000.

"Today's restructuring is designed to support the Dow of tomorrow," said Dow chairman and chief executive Andrew Liveris. "However, we are accelerating the implementation of these measures as the current world economy has deteriorated sharply, and we must adjust ourselves to the severity of this downturn," he said.

The full-time job cuts represent a reduction of about 11% of Dow's global workforce.

Once fully implemented, the new actions are expected to result in $700 million in annual operating cost savings by 2010 and add to previously announced cost synergies of $800 million in the same timeframe, Liveris said.

The company, he said, was moving from a highly centralized approach to operating three business models with "a lean and efficient" corporate center.

Dow chalks up massive annual sales of more than $50 billion with 46,000 employees worldwide.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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