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DuPont will cut jobs at its Yerkes plant in the Town of Tonawanda, as part of broader employment reductions the Delaware-based corporation is making.
The company cited “continued low production volumes in the site’s solid surfaces and polyvinyl fluoride films business units” as the reason for the cuts at the Tonawanda site, which is at Sheridan Drive and River Road. Peter Ciotta, a DuPont spokesman, would not specify how many jobs are being eliminated but said the plant would continue to employ about 600 people. The cuts are expected to take effect at the end of the year and will be in jobs across the plant, in both union and nonunion positions, he said.
“We have been experiencing continued low demand due to ongoing softness in key global markets,” said Ronald A. Lee, the plant manager, in a statement. “This has made it necessary for us to take steps to adjust staffing to align with the decline in production.”
The Yerkes plant has production as well as research and development work. The site makes Corian, which is used in a variety of surfaces including counter tops, and Tedlar, a film used in applications such as aircraft and solar panels.
A United Steelworkers representative could not immediately be reached to comment on the job cuts.
DuPont also has a chemical plant on Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls, with 198 employees.
That plant’s workforce will not be reduced, said Rick Straitman, a company spokesman.
DuPont on Tuesday announced plans to reduce its global work force by 1,500 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months.
The most valuable U.S. chemical maker posted a smaller-than-estimated third-quarter profit and cut its forecast on declining demand for paint pigment and solar cells.
Net income dropped to $10 million, or 1 cent a share, from $452 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier, DuPont said.
Profit excluding earnings from the auto-paint unit and one-time items was 32 cents a share, trailing the 47-cent average of 14 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman plans to save $450 million with the job cuts and other actions as a weak global economy challenges her 12 percent profit-growth target.
About half the reductions are tied to the auto-paint business, which DuPont previously agreed to sell to Carlyle Group LP for $4.9 billion.
Profit in the performance-chemicals unit declined on lower demand for the white pigment titanium dioxide, and electronics earnings fell on lower sales of photovoltaic materials.
“About 60 percent of incremental earnings growth since 2009 has come from titanium dioxide,” Hassan Ahmed, a New York- based analyst at Alembic Global Advisors who rates the shares neutral, the equivalent of hold, said.
“If that’s cycling down, it seriously jeopardizes Ellen’s earnings growth target and has quite serious ramifications for 2013 and beyond.”

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.
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