Pfizer announces 150 job losses at Newbridge plant
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced 150 job losses at its Newbridge, Co Kildare plant.
The 700 staff at the one million square foot drug manufacturing facility were informed of the move at a meeting this morning.
Around 200 people lost their jobs at the Newbridge site in 2010, during an earlier round of cost cutting.
Pfizer said that decision to cut 150 staff was taken to ensure the company's future competitiveness in the global market.
It added that consultation with staff will now start and that no other Pfizer sites have been affected by the decision.
Pfizer is one of the country’s biggest private sector employers with 3,200 employees here at a number of sites in Cork and Dublin, as well as at the Newbridge facility.
The staff cuts in 2010 were part of a major global restructuring programme launched after Pfizer bought rival Wyeth in a multi billion euro takeover deal.
The global business has also been hit as patents expired on once highly lucrative drugs like Viagra – once the company's best selling drug.
Paul Duffy, Pfiizer Vice President said: "The impact of patent expiration of a number of Pfizer's key medicines and increased generic competition has resulted in a reduction in manufacturing volumes and an excess of manufacturing capacity globally, and in Ireland specifically
"This means that we must rescale our operations to better align with the future needs of our business and also to achieve greater competitiveness."
The €350m Newbridge facility was first established in 1992 and is one of the biggest drug manufacturing plants in Europe.
SIPTU representatives said today they would meet with representatives of the company on Friday on behalf of workers.
SIPTU Organiser, Frank Jones said: “The announcement today that the company intends to make 150 workers redundant during 2014 is deeply distressing to the workers’ families and has had a devastating effect on the Newbridge area. Over 70 SIPTU members are among those workers facing the loss of their jobs.
“The timing and phasing of these job losses is particularly of concern with management stating that the redundancies will be fully implemented between the second quarter of 2014 and the end of the year.
“The purpose of the meeting on Friday is to explore the potential to reduce the number of proposed job losses and to try and ensure that no compulsory redundancies are implemented,” he added.
In May Pfizer announced plans to close a factory at Little Island in Co Cork, with the loss of 136 jobs. Last year the company cut 177 jobs at two of its Cork facilities.
However, it has also announced expansion plans here - in July the company said it was to invest €100m at its facilities in Dublin and Cork to ensure the plants are future-proofed to handle the manufacture of new drugs.