The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has raised concerns that the government is sleepwalking through an emerging crisis in the healthcare manufacturing sector after three major employers announced job cuts in less than a week.
“The loss of 150 jobs at Pfizer in Newbridge comes as another blow to the healthcare manufacturing sector in Ireland. Pfizer is a major employer in one of the most high value sectors in this country. This is an extremely difficult day for the staff in Newbridge and their families, particularly in the lead up to Christmas,” said Deputy Calleary.
“Pfizer is the third company in the healthcare manufacturing sector to announce large scale job cuts in less than a week. On Monday, Baxter Pharmaceuticals announced 110 job cuts at its facility in Castlebar. And last Thursday, pharmaceutical firm MSD announced the closure of its plant in Swords with the loss of 570 jobs. That’s 830 job losses in the healthcare manufacturing sector in less than a week.
“My fear is that there is evidence of an emerging crisis in the healthcare manufacturing sector in Ireland. These announcements raise serious questions about the challenges facing healthcare manufacturers in Ireland. Do we have a problem with our cost base? Why are companies choosing to relocate some of their Irish operations abroad?
“All three of these companies had previously cut jobs in the last 18 months. We need to know what contact the Minister for Jobs had with management in the intervening period. What effort has been made by government and by state agencies to secure the future of these three manufacturers’ Irish operations?
“This and previous governments have always emphasised the importance of the healthcare manufacturing sector to the Irish economy. The three recent job loss announcements must be a wake-up call to the government. A full examination of the sector is required to identify the challenges facing employers here. Minister Bruton must also immediately make contact with management at Pfizer, MSD and Baxter to secure the future of their Irish operations.”