Foreign plants escape global restructuring axe
IT IS a tale of eight pharmaceutical plants with four sad endings for Ireland.
US multinational Pfizer is now to axe three Irish drug plants and slash 275 jobs at a fourth -- as four similar facilities in France and Italy escape the global restructuring axe.
The situation is best exemplified by the Pfizer plants at Amboise in France and Ascoli in Italy.
Amboise and Ascoli are both solid-dosage manufacturing facilities which are similar to Pfizer's sister facility at Newbridge in Co Kildare.
However, while Newbridge is to shed 275 jobs, Amboise and Ascoli will be largely unaffected by the cutbacks. Similarly, while Pfizer plans to sell or close its aseptic manufacturing plant at Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, with the potential loss of 210 jobs, an aseptic plant at Catania in Italy will also be unaffected.
Almost 2,000 staff are employed at the four Italian and French plants -- with Amboise having also irked US politicians three years ago by securing a $189m (€160m) inhaled medicines technology centre over a rival American plant.
The move effectively cost the Terre-Haute plant in Indiana almost 600 job losses. The Amboise plant was opened in France in 1970 but has been the focus of multimillion-euro modernisation programmes over the past decade.
Pointedly, the Amboise plant is older than the Newbridge plant which is now reducing its operations.