Thermo Fisher plans operations reshuffle and 170 job cuts in UK

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

Thermo Fisher Scientific says its proposal to move manufacturing and R&D operations from Ashford, Kent to existing sites in Mexico, China and Denmark was a “very difficult decision.”

The outcome depends on the result of consultations with staff representatives at the site, but if accepted, the manufacture of laboratory products and molecular biology plastics R&D will be relocated to alternative sites by the end of next year. 

According to the firm, the move will better help meet customer commitments globally.

“Our Monterrey site in Mexico has capacity to take on additional production and we are proposing leveraging this facility to improve distribution to North America,” ​a Thermo Fisher spokesperson told us.

“Similarly, by moving production to China and Denmark, we have the opportunity to simplify our supply chain to serve our customers in Asia-Pacific and Europe more effectively,” ​the spokesperson added.

Job cuts​ 

The proposal includes the phased redundancy of approximately 170 employees.

“Should the proposal be approved, we will do everything we can to provide the support necessary to help staff transition into new work.”

Thermo Fisher said “this was a very difficult decision,” ​and “in no way reflects the quality of work or commitment by the staff in Ashford.” 

And Brexit? 

According to the firm, the relocation is unrelated to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. 

“The UK holds Thermo Fisher’s largest concentration of employment outside of the US, and we are committed to maintaining a significant presence here,” ​we were told.

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