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Alcoa Will Cut Work Force By 2,900

Aluminum Co. of America said Friday it plans to cut its work force by 2,900 people, or 3.8 percent of its total, through layoffs and early retirements.

Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminum producer, will take an after-tax charge of $65.5 million, or 38 cents a share, against third-quarter earnings, most of which will pay for the job reductions.

Alcoa earned $226.4 million, or $2.27 a share, in the third quarter of 1995.

In midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Alcoa was off 50 cents a share at $58.50.

Alcoa wants to trim its payroll both in the United States and overseas. It has budgeted $60 million to pay for pensions, health benefits and other aspects of layoff and retirement packages, a spokeswoman said.

It is part of the broader plan to cut costs in sales and administration by 25 percent, or $300 million.

The spokeswoman, who cited a corporate policy of not revealing her name, said Alcoa expected to lay off workers to improve efficiency. She said it was too early to say how many people are likely to be laid off.