Friday, November 14, 2008

Romanian companies to lay off 800 workers

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian companies in the chemical and fertilizer industry said Thursday they will lay off some 800 workers as their businesses feel the effects of the global economic crisis.

Oltchim, located in the city of Ramnicu Valcea in central Romania, said 550 workers would be laid off in December as the company tries to shore up its finances.

The company, which has about 5,000 employees, also said in a statement it will reduce its production by 20 to 40 percent this month.

Another fertilizer company, Azomures, said Thursday it will cut up to 250 jobs due to a drop in prices and demand for its products. It is situated in the northwestern city of Targu Mures.

The announcements follow similar cuts from other companies preparing for a long and deep economic downturn.

Carmaker Dacia said earlier this week it will halt production from Nov. 20 to Dec. 7 because of the financial crisis, which has led to a 30 percent drop in cars sales in October compared to a year ago.

Dacia's 14,400 workers will get 85 percent of their salaries during the production halt.

Steelmaker Arcelor Mittal said Monday its factory in Hunedoara, in western Romania, will close in November and December as demand for steel dropped sharply on international markets.

Some 440 workers at a chocolate factory will also lose their jobs after Kraft Foods said Wednesday it would close its factory in Transylvania next year.

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