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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Fears 425 jobs will be lost as drugs giant 'reviews' plant

Anne-Marie Walsh and John Fallon

ANOTHER pharmaceutical company is expected to announce job losses when it finalises a "review" of its main plant within weeks.

GlaxoSmithKline is due to complete an assessment of its manufacturing operation, which employs 425 people in Currabinny, Co Cork, as part of a global restructuring plan.

Fears have grown for jobs at the plant not long after two drug giants made major redundancy announcements.

Schering Plough, which is also based in Co Cork, announced 160 job losses -- mainly in manufacturing -- last week. Pfizer revealed plans to shed up to 785 jobs last May.

"A site review is ongoing and it will be finalised in a few weeks," a spokesperson at GlaxoSmithKline told the Irish Independent.

"The review will affect the manufacturing division, rather than research and development," the spokesperson said.

GlaxoSmithKline, which employs 1,400 people in Cork, Waterford and Dublin, is expected to begin consultations with the Cork employees on its plans before the end of the year.

Matt Moran, director of PharmaChemical Ireland, who represents the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, said it was a challenging time for pharma companies as the patents on major blockbuster drugs were now expiring, making job losses likely.

"From our perspective, these companies have multiple sites here and it leaves us exposed," he said.


"In order to survive in the long term, they need to make their operations as efficient as possible and invest in research and development."

Labour Party senator Michael McCarthy, who previously worked at Schering Plough, said there was a lot of fear locally that there would be job losses at GlaxoSmithKline.

"Minister for Enterprise Batt O'Keeffe needs to be ahead of the posse on this one to find out what is happening and keep job losses to an absolute minimum," he said.

Meanwhile, it was also confirmed yesterday that one of the biggest employers in Leitrim is set to shed 25 jobs in the construction industry.

Workers at the Masonite Ireland factory in Carrick-on-Shannon, which manufactures doors, were told yesterday that 25 jobs would have to go by the end of the year.

It employs 165 people at the Carrick-on-Shannon plant, which was set up in 1997.

A spokesperson said it was entering a 30-day consultation process with staff.

"Anticipated improvement in sales for the current year has not materialised and sales for next year are also forecast to be flat," said the spokesperson.

"In light of current market reality, the company, regrettably, has no option but to reduce operating costs, pending evidence of future market recovery."

The company ended its 11- year sponsorship of the Leitrim GAA teams last year as the downturn resulted in a reduction in sales.

Irish Independent

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