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Bayer Plans To Cut 70 Positions

By Staff | Nov 26, 2008

Marshall County industry has taken another blow, as 70 more workers soon will find themselves without jobs.

On Nov. 19, Jeffrey S. Bolton, plant manager for the Bayer MaterialSciences’ New Martinsville plant confirmed 70 of the plant’s 413 positions will be terminated next year as part of the company’s attempt to adjust the plant’s manufacturing operations.

Bolton said about 50 of those who will lose their jobs are salaried employees, while 20 are contract workers. He said the company began notifying employees of the terminations early that morning.

“The majority will take place in 2009,” Bolton said of the terminations. “We will be developing the organizational structure in the first quarter.”

Citing hard economic times, Bolton said one reason for the work force reduction is a waning need for the high-performance polymers that the plant, located along W.Va. 2 near the southern end of Marshall County, produces. The polymers are used in the automotive and home construction industries.

“We have seen some fall-off in the demand for these projects,” Bolton said.

He noted the terminations are part of a global consolidation that was announced in October 2006 and started in June 2007. In that consolidation, about 230 local jobs were lost when the MDI facility in New Martinsville closed.

Bolton said employees affected by this action will be given opportunities to find other jobs within the company, and, if needed, may be subject to the company’s separation, pension, and outplacement programs.

Despite the reductions, Bolton said it is important that the company keep up its history of safety at the plant.

“The key for us is to maintain a safe working environment,” Bolton said.

In July 2007, the plant employees celebrated after achieving 1 million work hours without a lost work day.