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Dow Corning Announces Job Cuts

May 19, 1998

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) _ Dow Corning Corp. plans to eliminate 1,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2000 in an ongoing effort to streamline the company.

The manufacturer of silicone-based products has about 9,300 employees worldwide, with 5,500 of them in the United States. About 3,800 of its workers are in Michigan, spokesman Kevin Wiggins said Tuesday.

None of the workers will be laid off, he said. The job reductions will come through voluntary retirements, attrition and the consolidation of some positions, he said.

Dow Corning hasn’t decided which jobs or plants might be targeted for the job cuts, said spokesman T. Michael Jackson.

``We’re looking at everything we do,″ Jackson told The Bay City Times for an article published Tuesday. ``We’re not looking at people. We’re looking at positions.″

The cuts stem from the company’s 4-year-old program to redesign its operations and remain competitive.

Once the world’s largest maker of silicone breast implants, Dow Corning sought bankruptcy protection in the face of a flood of lawsuits by women who claim the implants caused health problems.

Dow Corning contends studies show the devices are safe. It has offered a $3 billion settlement for the suits.

Richard McInerney, president for union production, maintenance and support staff at the company’s Midland plant, said workers expected some job cuts as part of the restructuring. The United Steelworkers of America Local 12934 represents 641 employees.

McInerney predicted the reductions would affect more employees in management than in production.

Dow Corning is a joint venture of Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Inc.

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