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      Dow Chemical to lay off 900 workers

      Dow Chemical Company is shrinking its global workforce by 1.7%.

      The Dow Chemical Company plans to lay off hundreds of workers in response to weak demand for its products in Europe.

      The Midland chemical manufacturer said Monday that the positions will be cut as part of a plan to trim costs by about $250 million each year. The company also will shut down factories in Illinois, Portugal, Hungary and Brazil, and it will idle a plant in the Netherlands.

      Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said the company made the decision to adapt to a volatile economy especially in western Europe.

      "Dow has to continue to look at its strategic advantages in dealing with the current issues. Europe is in a mild recession which could turn into a much larger recession by the end of the year," said Northwood University Economics Professor Dr. Tim Nash.

      Dow says it will book a first-quarter charge of $350 million in the first quarter for severance packages, asset impairments and other items related to its cost-cutting plan.

      Shares rose thirty three cents to $34.95 during Monday trading.