Aluminum Giant Alcoa to Lay Off 13,500

Pittsburgh company slashes 13% of its work force
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 6, 2009 8:58 PM CST
An Alcoa Warrick Operations employee inspects the finished rolls of aluminum as they come off the last stage of the production line in this 2006 file photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Alcoa, the world's third-largest aluminum maker, said today it will cut 13,500 jobs—13% of its work force—and slash spending and output to cope with the global economic slowdown. The reductions expand on cost-cutting measures announced in October, when the Pittsburgh-based company reported a 52% decline in third-quarter profit because of lower aluminum prices and weak demand for fabricated goods.

Alcoa also will cut 1,700 contractor positions and sell four business units. "These are extraordinary times, requiring speed, and decisiveness to address the economic downturn," said the company's chief executive. "We will continue to monitor the dynamic market situation to ensure that we adjust capacity to meet any future changes in demand and seize new opportunities that emerge."