Eastman Chemical Cuts Jobs, Employee Pay

March 9, 2009
Company aims for $200 million savings

Eastman Chemical Co. said March 9 that it will lay off nearly 300 workers and cut employee base pay by 5% as part of a cost-reduction strategy.

Combined with cutbacks announced in December, the Kingsport, Tenn.-based maker of chemicals fibers and plastics plans to reduce costs by a total of $200 million. The company also intends to reduce noncritical maintenance costs and logistics costs.

"The severity of the current economic environment led to the actions we are announcing today," said Brian Ferguson, chairman and CEO. "Despite our expectation that sales volume will continue to be at depressed levels, we remain committed to taking the necessary actions to deliver solid operating cash flow in 2009 that will more than support both our dividend and capital expenditures."

The cost-reduction actions will result in a first-quarter 2009 pre-tax restructuring charge of approximately $30 million.

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