PVC INVENTOR TO CUT STAFF 8 PERCENT BY YEAR'S END

PVC INVENTOR TO CUT STAFF 8 PERCENT BY YEAR'S END

Geon Co., the Independence, Ohio, polyvinyl chloride maker and a former division of B.F. Goodrich, will cut 160 positions - or 8 percent of its work force - by year's end, the company announced Nov. 10.

Geon, which has about 2,000 employees, has been reducing its work force to regain its lead in the highly competitive PVC plastics business.Geon said the job cuts, along with several other measures, will save about $12 million a year.

"This was not done without a lot of consternation on our part," said Dennis Cocco, the company's director of marketing.

Over the last three years, the former B.F. Goodrich division has eliminated more than 1,000 jobs and closed three PVC resin plants.

In March, Goodrich spun Geon off into a separate company and sold half of it to the public for $232 million. Goodrich will soon sell its remaining shares in Geon. Goodrich executives said the company no longer wants to be selling a cyclical commodity like PVC, which is used in the up-and-down construction industry.

Geon, which invented PVC - or polyvinyl chloride - faces stiff competition from PVC makers such as Japan's Shintech and Taiwan's Formosa Plastics, which have new plants in the United States that can produce PVC very cheaply.

However painful, the strategy of job cuts and an overhaul of the company's operations appears to be paying off. During its most recent quarter, Geon reported net income of $5.5 million, compared with a loss last year of $6.6 million.

About 40 jobs will be cut at Geon headquarters; another 20 jobs are to be

cut from Geon's research and development facility in Avon Lake. The remaining reductions will be made at Geon resin and compounding plants around the country.