DuPont will close part of its Old Hickory plant by the end of March, laying off about 140 employees and from 80-100 contract workers, according to a report in The Tenneseean newspaper. The company will cease production of polyester products at the facility and will cut one of three production lines for nonwoven fabrics used in medical gowns, drapes and wipes.
With the cuts—the first major job reduction in five years—the plant has about 300 employees.
The new layoffs are part of DuPont's previously announced actions to address market challenges and strengthen the company's competitiveness in 2009.
DuPont's last major job cuts at the plant came in 2004, when it ended production of dimethyl terephthalate, or DMT, a building block for polyester and industrial plastics. About 125 jobs were lost. However, DuPont soon after added its Advanced Composite Technology (ACT) nonwovens line serving the disposable medical gown and adding more than 100 jobs to the site.