Pfizer employees have until January to apply for voluntary redundancy

Pfizer in Newbridge. Photo. Jimmy Jimmy Fullam.

Pfizer in Newbridge. Photo. Jimmy Jimmy Fullam.

Newbridge Pfizer employees have until January 20, 2014 to apply for voluntary redundancy after the recent 150 job loss announcement.

SIPTU organiser Frank Jones said all serious engagement with management will begin once it is established how many workers, if any, will apply.

“There will not be a lot happening before the Christmas break,” he said.

“The serious engagement cannot really happen until it is established how many volunteers there are for the redundancy as the real issue is how we deal with and prevent compulsory redundancies.

“This unknow will not be righted until January 20 as this is the closing date for applying for voluntary redundancy.”

According to SIPTU the pool of workers who will accept a voluntary redundancy package is at most a dozen due to the last round of cuts which saw 275 employees be made redundant in 2010 over the following three years.

“We have never had a compulsory redundancy,” he said. “This will be a new development. We will ensure that the compulsory package will be better than the voluntary. There is little appetite for voluntary - less than a dozen. It is a real pity that management don’t talk to us beforehand we would recommend job sharing or unpaid leave instead of cuts. We should be allowed a position at the table.”

A company spokesperson said that consultation with staff is still underway.

“The announcement is subject to compliance with all local legal and regulatory obligations, including the obligation to inform and/or consult works councils, trade unions and employee representatives and we will work with them as appropriate,” said Karen O’Keefe of Pfizer communications.

Newbridge is the only Pfizer site nationwide to announce job losses.

Some 275 employees have been laid off at the plant in Newbridge since 2010, while there was 1,500 employed by the plant in 2006.

The 670 employees at the plant informed of the job losses on Wednesday December 4, and of company plans to shut down all packaging operations in Newbridge by 2015.

The redundancies were linked to a “reduction in manufacturing volumes” as well as the impact of the patent expiration of Pfizer’s key medicines.

The cuts were made in a bid to remain competitive. See Newbridge news page 22.




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