Dow Chemical Co., the largest chemicals maker in the United States, said on Tuesday it plans to cut 5 per cent of its workforce and shutter 20 plants as part of a restructuring program aimed at countering a slow global economy.
Dow and other chemical companies face slipping demand for products around the world. Rival E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. slashed its earnings forecast and announced 1,500 jobs cuts.
"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," Andrew Liveris, Dow's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
The company, which hopes to save $500-million (U.S.) a year, said the cuts will result in a loss of around 2,400 positions worldwide.
Dow also plans to pare capital spending and investment in programs that are no longer a priority. It said those cuts should save it an additional $500-million.
Dow said it will take fourth-quarter charges of around 50 cents to 60 cents per share for asset impairments and write-offs, severance and other costs related to the measures.
Shares of the company's stock inched up 9 cents to $45.34 after the close of regular trading.