Dow Chemical plans to lay off 900, close 4 plants - WNEM TV 5

Dow Chemical plans to lay off 900, close 4 plants

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

The Dow Chemical Co. plans to lay off about 900 people in response to weak demand for its products in Europe.

The Midland, Mich., chemical manufacturer said Monday that the positions will be cut as part of a plan to trim costs by about $250 million each year. Dow officials did not disclose where the layoffs will occur.  

The company also will shut down factories in Illinois, Portugal, Hungary, and Brazil, and it will idle a plant in The Netherlands.

Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said the company made the decision to adapt to a volatile economy, especially in western Europe.

"These actions, while difficult, are in full alignment with our commitment to continually manage our portfolio to adapt to changing and volatile economic conditions, as we are seeing particularly in Western Europe, and to preferentially invest in our fast-growing, technology-rich businesses," said Liveris.

Dow says it will book a first-quarter charge of $350 million in the first quarter for severance packages, asset impairments and other items related to its cost-cutting plan.

Shares rose 3 cents to $34.67 in morning trading.

Dow has 46,000 employees worldwide and 6,000 in Michigan.

Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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