Pfizer announces plans to cut 785 Irish jobs

18 May 2010

Global pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer has announced plans to cut 785 jobs at its Irish operations.

The company told workers today that it intends to close two plants in Cork at Loughbeg and Shanbally, which will result in the loss of a combined total of 300 jobs.

A third plant in Dún Laoghaire in Dublin will also be closed, with 210 jobs to go there.

The multinational also said it is scaling back on its solid-dose operations at its plant in Newbridge, Co Kildare, which will see 275 jobs cut.

Pfizer, which currently employs more than 5,000 people in Ireland, said that in an effort to preserve jobs it will explore opportunities to divest the plants it is closing down.

Worldwide restructuring

The Irish plant closures and job cuts come as part of a worldwide restructuring of Pfizer, following its US$68bn acquisition of fellow pharma giant Wyeth last year.

The company today announced it is ceasing operations at eight manufacturing plants worldwide in Ireland, Puerto Rico and the US by the end of 2015. It is also reducing operations at six other plants in Germany, Ireland, Puerto Rico, the UK and the US.

The plans outlined today will result in a global reduction of about 6,000 jobs over the next several years, the company said.

Pfizer said the planned reductions would “increase manufacturing efficiency and lower costs by more effectively using resources and technology, improving plant processes, eliminating excess capacity and better aligning production with market demand”.

“The restructuring of our global plant network is critical to our efforts to remain competitive so that we can continue to meet patient needs and expand the access and affordability of our medicines,” said Pfizer Global Manufacturing president Nat Ricciardi. “Nevertheless, today’s announcement is very difficult to make because of its impact on our colleagues.”

When Pfizer bought Wyeth last year, it was announced that the deal would lead to as many as 20,000 job losses worldwide.

Pfizer today said that evaluations of its animal-health manufacturing sites are presently under way, with recommendations expected by the end of June. Meanwhile, studies of its nutrition and emerging markets plant networks will begin later this year.

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