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Cork Independent


Jobs on offer despite Novartis cutbacks

Wednesday, 23rd October, 2019 4:52pm

Novartis has defended the jobs on offer in Dublin after the pharmaceutical giant yesterday announced plans to axe 320 Cork jobs.

More than 50 jobs are currently advertised on the company’s website in its offices in the capital with a spokesperson for the company, which has had a Cork presence for 25-plus years, telling the Cork Independent yesterday that Dublin is “a different entity”.

“The operations in Dublin are separate to the ones in Cork, they are treated as a separate entity,” said the spokesperson.

Around 500 employees of Novartis in Cork were called into a meeting on Wednesday morning where the company announced its intention to consolidate its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing operations at its Ringaskiddy campus by mid-2022.

The Novartis spokesperson said that the majority of the redundancies would be finalised by 2022.

In addition, Novartis also announced the relocation of a number of global services roles, also located at Ringaskiddy, by the end of 2021 to centralised operations centres in Europe and Asia.

This was described by management as “a strategic decision” and “part of the ongoing evaluation of the Novartis manufacturing network around the world and transformation programmes”.

A statement from Novartis said: “These changes could impact up to 320 employees at the Novartis Ringaskiddy campus, subject to consultation.”

Shane Relihan, Managing Director, Novartis Ringaskiddy Limited said yesterday: “Today is a very difficult day for everyone associated with Novartis Ringaskiddy. With a proud reputation of making medicines for over 25 years, it is important to say that this decision is not a reflection of the performance of our dedicated colleagues who have worked hard to supply our customers and patients.”

Mr Relihan continued: “While people absorb the news, we want to reassure our colleagues and their families that there is no immediate impact. Novartis will work with our employees and representative groups to support everyone during this period ahead, providing severance packages and outplacement services. We will also work with our industry partners across the pharmaceutical industry cluster here in Cork to identify future employment opportunities in the area.”
Loretto Callaghan, Country President of Novartis in Ireland, said: “We are enormously proud of our team in Cork, and it has been a source of great pride over the years to be able to tell medical practitioners that many Novartis products are made right here in Ireland. We will offer every support to the team at Novartis Ringaskiddy in the years ahead and continue to work with the local management team in Cork.”

SIPTU requested a meeting with Novartis management after the news broke with much shock across the business and political worlds. 

Fianna Fáil Party Leader Micheál Martin described the news as “devastating for the region”. 

“This is a very worrying time for the families and their loved ones. The job losses are particularly disappointing as Novartis in Cork was high end manufacturing. 

“I hope all efforts are made by Government and the IDA to prevent as many job losses as possible, to relocate those that lose jobs and to seek an alternative company to invest. 

“Extra efforts have to be made in the far more competitive environment globally,” he said.

Labour TD Seán Sherlock said the decision by Novartis it’s a “hammer blow” for the Cork region.

Conor Healy, Cork Chamber CEO, said: “Our immediate thoughts are with the impacted employees and their families at this stressful time and we encourage the State agencies to work with the company and the employees to ensure that all available reemployment opportunities are identified.”

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