UPDATE 10/24/12 @ 8:31 p.m.
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia is not immune to nationwide layoffs hitting Dow Chemicals Company.
"I guess for lack of a better word, it's a haircut," Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said. "They just shaved it off the top and then just picked and chose plants more interested in saving money by cost of employees then they were about maybe the future, but that's what they decided to do."
Carper was told about the layoffs by the Dow plant manager.
On Tuesday, Dow Chemicals Company announced the closing of 20 plants nationwide and the layoffs of 2,400 employees.
And its impact is being felt at the Dow plant in South Charleston where Dow has shut down its gum base operations, costing 13 people their jobs.
"The important part is 13 families are affected," Carper said. "They've lost their jobs. While it's not a large number of people, it sure is to the families."
Dow released the following statement to WSAZ.com: "The decision to shut down this asset was a portfolio-based decision and is aligned to a series of moves the Company is taking to strengthen our long-term competitiveness, focus our resources in areas that will drive growth and deliver the most profitable returns on our investments."
But one can’t help but notice the irony of the situation. Just last week, right down the street from Dow, Gestamp cut the ribbon on a stamp plant that they say will eventually create hundreds of jobs.
"They simply made a decision to save about a half a million dollars a year -- and this is what you see with companies all over the world," Carper said. "They save money by laying off people so it's just something that you see all too often these days."
The gum base operations unit is one of nine total operations units at the South Charleston Dow plant, while the other eight operations units will continue normal operations.
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At the Dow plant in South Charleston, 13 workers are being laid off, and a unit of the plant that manufactures gum base will close.
The gum base is the only one of the nine operating units at the South Charleston plant that are impacted by the layoffs.
Dow said the decision to shut down gum base operations was so the company could "focus our resources in areas that will drive growth and deliver the most profitable returns on our investments."