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Big pharma firm Novartis to cut 320 jobs at Cork plant

One of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical firms, Novartis employs 1,600 people in Ireland.

Novartis has a history in Ireland going back to the 1950s.
Novartis has a history in Ireland going back to the 1950s.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

Updated Oct 23rd 2019, 9:20 AM

STAFF AT PHARMACEUTICAL firm Novartis in Cork are being informed about the loss of over 320 losses at the plant. 

The news was delivered to staff at a meeting at the manufacturing plant in Ringaskiddy at 8am this morning.

The Irish Examiner reports that all staff regardless of what shift they were working were told to attend. 

Novartis currently employs 1,600 in Ireland across two locations, the Ringaskiddy factory and a business services office in Booterstown in Dublin.

About 550 of those jobs are located at Ringaskiddy but the company told workers today that 320 are to go over the next number of years. 

It is not believed that jobs at the Dublin office are at risk. 

Fianna Fáil leader and Cork South Central TD Micheál Martin said it was “devastating” news for the community. 

“This morning the announcement of job losses for staff at Novartis is devastating for the region. Since the 1990s this organisation has become one of the biggest employers in Ringaskiddy and the wider area. We all know of many families in the region who have relatives employed with Novartis,” Martin said. 

“This is a very worrying time for the families and their loved ones. The job losses are particularly disappointing as Novartis in Cork was high end manufacturing.”

Labour’s Cork East TD Seán Sherlock expressed concerns for the wider community resulting from the job losses:

That this would come just a few weeks before Christmas will be a hard blow for many families. That is before taking into account the large number of ancillary jobs that are supported by Novartis, through sub contracts for services so the figure could be a lot higher. 

Novartis is the one of the top 10 pharmaceutical firms in the world with sales last year of $51.9 billion

Cork North Central TD Mick Barry made reference to Novartis’ value this morning and said staff “must not be thrown under the bus”.

Today’s job losses come on the back of news that Shannon-based tech firm Molex announced yesterday that it will cease operations in Ireland by next year meaning the loss of up to 500 job losses.

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Rónán Duffy

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