WILMINGTON, DEL. (Dec. 5, 2008) — Economic hard times are prompting DuPont Co. to eliminate 6,500 jobs worldwide, and for Dow Chemical Co. to cut "thousands" of contract workers in Texas.
Wilmington-based DuPont said in a Dec. 4 statement that it would shed 2,500 full-time employees and 4,000 contractors. Most of the full-time cuts will come from businesses that support the motor vehicle and construction markets in the U.S. and Western Europe, officials said.
The DuPont moves are expected to increase the firm's pretax earnings by $730 million and reduce working capital by $1 billion. The contractor cuts will be made by the end of the year, with additional cuts in that area possible in 2009. Further details of the cuts — including their impact on DuPont's elastomer-related businesses — were not provided.
For Midland, Mich.-based Dow, "thousands" of the 4,000 contract workers that the firm employs in Freeport, Texas, will be let go, according to a Dec. 4 report in the Galveston, Texas, Daily News. Dow also has 4,500 full-time employees in Freeport, some of whom will be asked to take vacations as production at the site drops to 35 percent, according to the report.