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Last Updated: Monday, 12 April, 2004, 13:58 GMT 14:58 UK
DuPont to slash 6% of workforce
A DuPont employee at a manufacturing plant
DuPont is on a cost-cutting drive
US chemicals giant DuPont has said it plans to cut 3,500 jobs, or 6% of its workforce, to save money.

The job losses will take place in the US and Europe, but not at the firm's Delaware-based Invista textiles unit which it plans to sell this month.

DuPont said it expects to pay severance to 3,000 workers but that 500 would probably leave of their own accord.

The job cuts are part of DuPont's plans to shave $900m from its costs by the end of 2005.

"These are difficult but necessary decisions as we align our resources with market needs," said DuPont's chairman Charles Holliday, adding that the cutbacks would protect the firm's competitiveness.

DuPont said the job cuts would contribute $325m in annual savings towards the target of $900m it set out in late 2003.

The layoffs are likely to start from mid-summer. DuPont did not say which plants would be hit.

Union officials at DuPont's Marshall Laboratory in Philadelphia said late last week that they were bracing for job cuts.

"We've kind of known this was coming since last December," said David Gibson, an official with the International Brotherhood of DuPont Workes.

DuPont said it would also cut 450 contractor jobs.

In addition to savings from the layoffs, DuPont intends to trim costs by $375m - equal to 6% of its outlay on supplies and services - by changing its procurement patterns.

The chemical group said it was "on track" to meet its overall cost reduction targets.

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