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Fears for 136 jobs as Pfizer seeks buyer for Cork site

Pfizer has announced plans to sell its Little Island site, where 136 employees are currently based, and relocate manufacturing to Ringaskiddy.

Image: Uros Zunic via Shutterstock

FEARS HAVE BEEN raised for 136 jobs in Pfizer in Cork, after the company announced its intention to sell its Little Island site and relocate manufacturing operations to Ringaskiddy.

Staff at Little Island were informed this morning of plans to relocate to the Ringaskiddy site at some point during 2014, and that a buyer was now being sought for Little Island site.

A spokesperson for Pfzier told TheJournal.ie that it was “too early” to say whether the move would lead to job losses among Little Island site workers. However, she confirmed that the Ringaskiddy site was currently operating at capacity, meaning the 136 employees could potentially not be required.

Pfizer’s spokesperson said there was, as yet, no timeframe organised for telling the 136 workers whether or not their jobs will be lost – saying this situation would only become clear when the conditions of the potential sale of the Little Island were confirmed. In a statement, the company said “a number of market factors”, including demand for pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, would determine this situation.

Dr Paul Duffy, vice president of Pfizer, said the patent expiry of a number of key medicines and the need to achieve greater manufacturing efficiencies had prompted the move.

Last year, the company announced the loss of 177 jobs at the two Cork sites, also citing expired patents and greater competition as reasons for the decision. However, Duffy today insisted that “Ireland remains a key strategic location for Pfizer”, noting operations in Cork, Kildare and Dublin.

“The proposed relocation of these medicines to Ringaskiddy is necessary for our Irish operations as we strive to further enhance our ability to compete even more effectively in a changing global pharmaceutical market,” he said.

Pfizer employs approximately 3,200 people at six sites in Ireland across manufacturing, shared services, treasury and commercial operations. No other sites in Ireland will affected by today’s announcement.

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Read: Pfizer confirms loss of 177 jobs at Cork manufacturing sites

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