Dow Chemical to Shed 1,000 Jobs

It will close plants in Brazil, France and Louisiana.

Dow Chemical Co. said Dec. 4 it would eliminate 1,000 jobs worldwide in a reorganization aimed at trimming costs and improving efficiency. The company employs a total of 43,000 people.

Dow will exit the automotive sealers business in North America, Asia Pacific and Latin America within the next nine to 18 months.

It will also close a plant in Aratu, Brazil, that makes hydroxyethyl cellulose "in the face of capacity limitations, high structural and raw material costs, and aging technology," the company said. And its styrene plan in Camacari, Brazil, will be idled on January 1.

Dow will also close a plant in St. Charles, Louisiana, operated by its Union Carbide subsidiary. And it will begin consultations with local employees to begin shutting a plant in Lauterbourg, France.

The company expects to take a charge of $500 million - $600 million for the changes and hopes to save $180 million a year after the cuts are made.

"Today's announcement reflects our commitment to prune businesses that are not delivering appropriate value and tackle tasks more efficiently across the entire organization... freeing up capital and resources that will be re-directed toward value-creating growth opportunities," said Andrew Liveris, Dow's chairman and chief executive. "Our focus on financial discipline and low cost to serve remains as sharp as ever, and we will continue to seek ways to refine our organizational structure, asset base and business portfolio to ensure Dow's competitiveness on the world stage."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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