DuPont to Eliminate 1,500 Positions
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) _ The DuPont Co. announced today it is eliminating 1,500 employee and contractor positions in its North American nylon and Dacron operations to improve competitiveness.
About 800 workers will be laid off and about 400 will either be relocated to other jobs in DuPont, replace contractors or leave through attrition, said Bill Brown, a company spokesman.
Of approximately 300 contractors being eliminated, about 250 are in Dacron and about 50 in nylon, Brown said.
In 1991, DuPont embarked on a major cost-cutting campaign, eliminating 17,000 jobs worldwide over three years.
More layoffs had been expected since DuPont’s recent acquisition of the nylon business of rival Imperial Chemical Industries Plc., which left the company with excess production capacity worldwide.
The cutbacks are expected to reduce nylon operating costs by about 10 percent and Dacron operating costs by about 20 percent, the company said.
About 40 percent of the nylon jobs and 30 percent of the Dacron jobs being eliminated are managerial and professional.
DuPont Dacron manufacturing sites affected are in Cape Fear and Kinston, N.C. and Cooper River, S.C.
The company’s nylon plants are in Canada, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, S.C., Texas and Delaware.
Approximately 175 jobs are being eliminated at DuPont’s flagship nylon plant in Seaford in southern Delaware. The plant, which employs 1,550 people, manufactures nylon fiber for carpeting and other applications.
About 50 of the 175 cuts will be accomplished through attrition. Of the rest, 45 will be management and salaried positions, while the rest will be hourly workers, plant manager Paul Couvillion said.
``Nylon is a very competitive business and the measures being taken at the plant, the reductions happening now, are aimed at making it more competitive,″ company spokesman Rick Straitman said.
Employees were told of the layoffs Wednesday.
Laid off workers will receive between two months’ and one year’s severance pay, depending on length of service. They will also receive health benefits assistance and up to $5,000 in education benefits.
DuPont expects to take a first quarter charge of approximately 5 cents per share for the workforce reduction.
In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, DuPont was off 87 1/2 cents a share at $76.87 1/2.