Dow Chemical lays off 2,400 people, to close Midland plant - WNEM TV 5

Dow Chemical lays off 2,400 people, to close part of Midland plant

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

About 2,400 Dow Chemical employees learned Tuesday they will be laid off as part of a company restructuring plan that is expected to cut operating costs by $500 million by 2014.  The layoffs will happen worldwide.

That's approximately five percent of the company's workforce. Up to 50 percent of the layoffs will hit U.S. workers, which means 1,200 people will lose their jobs across America.

Dow currently has 5,500 employees at its Midland facilities, with 25,000 employees in the U.S.

The cuts hit here at home. Dow announced they will close down the Automotive Systems Diesel Particulate Filters manufacturing facility in Midland. Twenty manufacturing facilities across the world will shut down.

"The reality is we are operating in a slow-growth environment in the near-term and, while these actions are difficult, they demonstrate our resolve to tightly manage operations – particularly in Europe – and mitigate the impact of current market dynamics," said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow's chairman and chief executive officer in the announcement posted on Dow's website. "Earlier this year we announced targeted actions – levers we planned to pull to reduce costs and protect our earnings growth path. The interventions we are announcing today represent the next phase in our path to driving efficiency and prioritizing our growth programs.

Read Dow Chemical's release by clicking here.

On the website, Dow said it will shut down a high density polyethylene facility in Tessenderlo, Belgium, a sodium borhidrate plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, as well as a number of Performance Materials manufacturing facilities, including: an Automotive Systems Diesel Particulate Filters manufacturing facility in Midland, Michigan; Formulated Systems manufacturing facilities in Ribaforada, Spain, Birch Vale, United Kingdom and Solon, Ohio; and an Epoxy resins facility in Kina Ura, Japan.

Additionally, the company will record an impairment charge related to the write-down of Dow Kokam LLC's assets, reflecting weak global demand for lithium-ion batteries, and will consolidate certain assets in its Oxygenated Solvents business, as well as shut down a number of other small manufacturing facilities.

Dow said those actions are expected to take place over the next two years.

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