Staff hope buyer will be found for 'exit' plant
PFIZER workers in Dun Laoghaire were last night pinning their job hopes on a buyer being found for the plant.
The pharmaceuticals giant employs 210 people at the site, some of whom have worked there for upwards of 30 years.
At a lunchtime meeting yesterday, management broke the news to staff that their plant was one of the sites targeted for an "exit" strategy by Pfizer.
The manufacturing plant on Pottery Road was one of the company's first Irish bases and opened in 1970.
Last night workers went home counting the cost of this latest jobs blow.
"There were people very upset. There's people who have been there up to 30, 40 years," explained employee Paul O'Brien.
"People are going to be upset when they hear 'your job is going out the door'.
"We kind of knew it was coming, we knew there were going to be reductions on the site. I think a lot of people are shocked, but a lot of people thought it was coming as well," he added.
Workers are now hoping a buyer will step in to take over the plant, which manufactures sterile injectible medicines.
If a new owner isn't found, Pfizer will begin a phased exit from Dun Laoghaire beginning at the end of 2011, with the loss of all 210 jobs.
Another employee, who did not want to be named, was quite upbeat.
"There is a sense of shock but it's not something that hasn't been hitting a lot of people in the recession," he said.
"At least we have a lot of notice to make arrangements. It's not sudden, it's not a cliff-hanger -- everything's going to shut, so it could have been a lot worse.
"People are a bit shocked and disappointed but it's not the end of the world for any of us by a long shot."
He had enjoyed his time working for the company.
"I've been here about two-and-a-half years myself. It's been great, I've enjoyed it very much. (I'm) a bit disappointed that it might be coming to an end but again, it's still up in the air. It's still early days."
Asked if he thought there was a chance of finding a buyer in the current economic climate, he replied: "Anything's possible."