WILMINGTON, DE - DuPont Co. announced plans to reduce its worldwide work force by 6%, or 3,500 positions, by the end of 2004 as part of a $900 million cost-cutting program announced late last year.

The company gave no specifics on planned job cuts for individual business units, but said the impact will be primarily restricted to North America and Western Europe. DuPont said it plans to eliminate about 3,000 positions through severance programs and about 500 positions through normal attrition.

Chairman and CEO Charles O. Holliday Jr. said the work-force reduction is a "difficult but necessary" action "as we align our resources with market needs and adjust the size of our infrastructure" following the divestiture of the company's INVISTA fibers and resins business.