Dow announces job cuts, plant closures

Dow will cut 5,000 employees and close 20 plants in an effort to save $700 million annually.

The Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich.) announced on Dec. 8 that it will eliminate approximately 5,000 full-time jobs, close 20 facilities in high-cost locations and divest several non-strategic businesses. The job reductions represent a reduction of roughly 11 percent of Dow’s global workforce.  Once fully implemented, these actions are expected to result in $700 million in annual operating cost savings by 2010 and are additional to the previously announced cost synergies of $800 million in the same timeframe for the anticipated Rohm and Haas acquisition.

In addition, reflecting poor current market conditions, Dow will temporarily idle approximately 180 plants and significantly reduce its contractor workforce worldwide by approximately 6,000 as predicated by reduced operations.

The new Dow will comprise three business operating models: Joint Ventures/Asset Light; Performance Products; and Health & Agriculture, Advanced Materials and other Market Facing Businesses. Specific details on these business structures will be outlined early in 2009.