AstraZeneca will make 94 staff members redundant from its Macclesfield, UK, campus. The decision was taken after the investment was made in improved packaging facilities, which require fewer employees.
The company’s Macclesfield site is the largest pharma production facility in the UK, where it produces small molecule drugs, such as Zoladex (goserelin).
GMB Union suggested that discussions over the workers’ futures began yesterday but would not occur until 2020. The union referred to the Anglo-Swedish company’s decision as a “hammer blow for manufacturing in the North West – and the UK as a whole.”
Stephen Boden, GMB Organiser, said, “We will work closely with affected members to mitigate compulsory job losses and to secure the best possible deal through the consultation period.”
The future of AstraZeneca’s role in UK manufacturing and related employment has been a major question mark since the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
Not long after the decision, the company stated that it will hold back on investment in UK operations until the post-Brexit environment was clearer – though the company did become one of the first major companies in the UK to announce that it would be building a stockpile of medicine over hard Brexit concerns.
The company continues to build its UK headquarters, despite it being hit with a series of setbacks that have seen the provisional completion date extend from 2016 to the first half of 2020. By itself, the headquarters has seen investment made in excess of £500m (€586m) by AstraZeneca.