Eastman Chemical layoffs part of cost-cutting measures to impact around 50 Kingsport employees

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Cost-cutting measures at one of the region’s largest employers resulted in layoffs for dozens of workers.

Kingsport-based Eastman Chemical Company announced in August it would slash costs by an additional $100 million.

The reason was to help offset challenges created by competition and sluggish economic growth.

Eastman Communications Manager Tracy Kilgore Addington said the company is in the process of notifying impacted employees.

Eastman expects the total number of job cuts to be fewer than 130 worldwide.

News Channel 11 learned late Wednesday that 50 workers in Kingsport will be out of a job.

Addington issued the following statement:

We announced to employees in August that we would be reducing costs an additional $100 million to help offset challenges created by a number of headwinds, including intensified competition, low-oil and a slow growth economy.

We have taken a number of actions to reduce costs in high spend areas across the company, including labor and benefits. Benefits changes were announced earlier this month, and we are now in the process of notifying employees impacted by the labor reductions. In an effort to minimize the impact to employees, we have also made significant changes to increase productivity and reduce our overall spend in areas like raw materials purchases and operating processes.  We expect the total number of involuntary reductions to be fewer than 130 worldwide.

We regret that we have to take these difficult actions. However, we believe these additional cost reductions are necessary in order for us to address significant short-term challenges so that we can continue to remain competitive and invest in our long-term growth.”

Eastman is expected to report its third quarter earnings on Thursday.

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