As a result, it was revealed by the Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) that Novartis’ country Cork campus could see job cuts of up to 320 employees.
According to the company, the Ringaskiddy campus employs approximately 600 members of staff, with the site responsible for the manufacture of intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) since 1994.
Local media reports suggested that the majority of the redundancies, approximately 240, will be lost from the API plant, with a further 80 to be cut from its Global Service Centre, located on the same site.
A spokesperson for Novartis explained that job losses are a ‘strategic decision’ that came about as an ongoing evaluation of the company’s manufacturing network.
“The impacted production building no longer presents a long-term competitive option for Novartis with forecast utilization rates declining and a portfolio of smaller volume APIs. We face the additional challenge of external suppliers who can manufacture these products at a more competitive price,” the spokesperson outlined.
Due to such challenges, the spokesperson stated that products currently manufactured at the production building will be transferred to external supply partners by mid-2022.
With such a timeline, the production building looks set for closure prior to mid-2022, as the company looks to consolidate API manufacture at the campus; however, SIPTU organiser, Allen Dillon, issued a statement suggesting that no jobs would be lost from the facility this year.
He continued, “Union representatives will be actively seeking alternative options in order to minimize these dramatic cuts and engaging extensively with Novartis management to try to provide more certainty of employment for our members.”
On its website, Novartis notes that the overall manufacturing facility is valued at €850m ($943m) and workers at the site had previously been told that the company was looking to sell the site, according to the Irish Times.