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Cost-cutting to bring cuts at Carrollton Arkema plant

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By Sharon Graves

A restructuring plan at Arkema’s North American operations will bring cost cutting measures that include staff cuts at Carrollton’s plant as the company tries to trim $40 million from its expenses by 2010.

This restructuring of Arkema’s operations in North America is part of an overall $740 million cost reduction move for the entire group implemented since 2006, the company said during its May 13 announcement.

Carrollton site facility manager Annis Banks said this plant has been asked to reduce costs by 20 percent across the board. The cuts come in the form of reorganization, staff reductions and production adjustments, she explained.

“Our reorganization plan includes combining departments and job classes, modifying schedules, lowering wages for some roles, and reducing supervisory, management and clerical positions,” Banks said in a press release from the Carrollton site.  “The staff reductions will begin with voluntary severance packages to achieve cost savings.”

The exact number of positions to be eliminated will not be known until all those employees who are taking voluntary separation is complete, Banks said.  The cuts are expected to be complete by the end of the year.

“We are trying to do this on a voluntary basis,” she said.

Employees who remain will cross train to perform multiple functions, Banks added.

Plants in Louisville and Carrollton, Mobile, Ala., Memphis, Tenn., Birdsboro and Bristol, Penn., as well as a subsidiary headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa. and a Canadian affiliate in Oakville, must all go through the reduction process as well.  

“These cost-cutting mea sures to further strengthen Arkema and its North American operations,” Bernard Roche, president and chief executive officer of Arkema, Inc. said in the press release. “Both to maintain its competitive edge in the current economic downturn and to grow once the economy rebounds.”