Pfizer to ‘restructure’ distribution operations, cutting 186 jobs in Vonore

By Alexandria Pesic

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pfizer global manufacturing

Pfizer will lay off 186 employees at its Vonore, US plant, as it intends to hand over the unit to the third-party logistics service provider, Exel, and outsource it logistics and distribution operations.

The drug giant’s global manufacturing division plans to make changes to its distribution operations, and the first step will involve leaving the Vonore unit that serves the US and other countries.

Pfizer spokesman, Rick Chambers, said Exel will offer employment to the Pfizer staff facing job losses as it looks to recruit staff to operate the Monroe County plant. The employees affected by the job cuts will receive severance pay as well as other benefits, he confirmed.

The layoffs come as Pfizer is negotiating a deal with Ohio, US-based Exel, and with logistics group, Deutsche Post DHL, to outsource distribution of its drugs and healthcare products.

Pfizer said the move is expected to be complete by next summer as Exel adopts the building and work force needed to distribute Pfizer products, said Chambers.

Philip Rose, a Pfizer global manufacturing executive of America’s logistics and supply operations, said in a statement: “The restructuring of our US logistics network is critical to our efforts to remain competitive in the future so that we can continue to meet customer needs.”

Admitting that Pfizer’s announcement of impending job slashes was “difficult to make,”​ he reassured employees and locals that the drugmaker is developing strategies to ensure the handover to Exel is a smooth transaction.

‘Restructuring Program’

Pfizer’s decision to cut back further jobs and exit the distribution business at its Vonore plant comes as no great surprise to the pharmaceutical industry. This year, the drug major announced a major restructuring program, including cuts of 6,000 jobs worldwide over the next five years, which amounts to almost a fifth of its workforce.

Eight of its plants will be closed, while operations will be scaled back at six other factories, said the drugmaker who purchased rival firm, Wyeth last year.

Most recently, Pfizer confirmed it will close three plants in Ireland– two in County Cork and a factory in south Dublin – with the loss of up to 785 job losses there at a time when the Irish Government plans to save €14bn by axing 24,750 public sector jobs and reducing the minimum wage by €1 an hour.

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