Commercial Metals To Cut 1,500 Jobs

The Irving, Texas company said the downturn in construction is forcing the closure of nearly 10 facilities nationwide.

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Commercial Metals Co., which has been hurt by weak construction demand, said Friday it plans to sell or close a number of facilities, leading to the loss of nearly 1,500 jobs.

The Irving, Texas, company said 1,130 jobs will be lost at a steel pipe manufacturing plant in Croatia, which the company said it plans to either sell or close after it winds down production over the next several months.

The company, which makes, recycles and markets steel and metal products, said it made the decision because it would take too much time for the mill to turn a profit.

The company said it will lay off 350 more employees across its business. It will close five rebar fabricating locations -- four in the U.S. and one overseas. Eight construction services locations are either in the process of being sold or have already been closed.

"We understand the impact that these decisions will have on the lives of our employees and our communities, but unfortunately market conditions have necessitated that these actions be taken at this time," the company said in a statement.

The company currently expects pre-tax charges of between $135 million and $165 million during the fiscal year related to the reorganization. Next year, excluding operating losses at the Croatia mill as it winds down production, it expects pre-tax charges of between $25 million and $40 million.

Also Friday, the company's board declared a quarterly cash dividend of 12 cents The dividend will be paid on Nov. 1 to shareholders as of Oct. 18.

Commercial Metals will release its fiscal 2011 earnings on Oct. 28.

Its shares slipped 2 cents to $9.98 in morning trading Friday.