Dow Chemical to slash 5,000 jobs, close 20 plants

Dow Chemical today announced it will slash 5,000 full-time jobs, close 20 plants and sell several businesses to save money.

The Michigan-based company expects the moves to save about $700 million per year by 2010.

Dow -- which has operations in Freeport, Texas -- also will temporarily idle 180 plants and prune 6,000 contractors from its payroll.

Specifics are pending.

Dow Chemical had said it would review all options to reduce costs and eliminate or defer capital spending.

The company says it will take a fourth-quarter charge of $700 million to cover severance payments and plant shutdown costs.

But the company denied it will suspend dividend payments as a way to conserve cash.

The company expects "the new Dow" to be comprised of 3 units: joint ventures; performance products; and health and agriculture, advanced materials and other market-facing businesses.

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