CHICAGO - USG Corp., maker of wallboard, joint compound, cement board, wall panels and construction plaster items, announced Monday it is eliminating 500 jobs, or 10 percent of its salaried work force worldwide, as demand for its products declined amid a residential housing market slump.
The company is offering voluntary severance benefits, including a lump sum payment based on salary and length of employment, an allowance to continue medical, dental and vision coverage and outplacement services. If enough employees don't volunteer to leave, it said it will begin cutting positions.
USG expects the cuts to be completed by the end of June and to cost between $8 million and $12 million.
The company said the housing market ''has not exhibited any meaningful signs of recovery'' and expected the downturn to continue through 2007, with industry demand for gypsum wallboard down about 10 percent from last year.