Pfizer seeking 150 redundancies in Newbridge plant

4 Dec 2013

Staff at Pfizer’s Newbridge plant in Co Kildare were informed this morning that the company is seeking 150 redundancies and that packaging operations at the site will be shut down by 2015.

A consultation process has begun with the plant’s 700-strong workforce, which has already been reduced by more than a quarter following a previous redundancy programme.

The facility in Newbridge has been in operation since 1992 and is one of the largest employers in the town. Paul Duffy, vice-president of the company, cited patent expiration of key medicines and increased generic competition resulting in a reduction in manufacturing volumes and an excess of manufacturing capacity, specifically in Ireland, as the reason behind the decision, The Irish Times reports.

“We must rescale our operations to better align with the future needs of our business and also to achieve greater competitiveness,” Duffy said. “Ireland remains a key strategic location for Pfizer, with many of our leading and newest medicines manufactured here, and the company continues to make investments in the Irish operations.”

Pfizer currently employs more than 3,200 people across eight locations but the company has stated that other sites will not be affected by today’s announcement. The company also plans to transfer production of some products into Newbridge over the next few years.

“Obviously this announcement has a significant impact for our colleagues. We will provide them with support to help prepare for the challenges ahead,” Duffy added.

Last week, pharmaceutical company MSD announced the closure of its Swords, Co Dublin-based plant by the end of 2017, resulting in the loss of 570 jobs.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.