Merck KGgA Cuts Another 1000 Jobs in Germany

Merck KGgA Cuts Another 1000 Jobs in Germany

September 4th, 2012 // 7:32 pm @

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Reeling from setbacks, Merck KGgA is making yet another move to trim its workforce and now plans to eliminate 1,100 jobs in Germany by 2015, which amounts to roughly 10 percent of its workforce in the country. The drug and chemicals maker says the cuts will be made in a “socially acceptable manner,” mainly through voluntary resignations and early retirement programs.

The cuts follow a pair of key disappointments – the inability to market a multiple sclerosis drug and widen the use of its Erbitux cancer treatment. Earlier this summer, the Merck Serono biotech unit took similar steps to reduce its overhead by making plans to close its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and eliminate about 500 jobs, although this was less than the initial 1,250 job cuts planned after workers staged protests (back story).

“We have had constructive discussions with Works Council members for the past several months and are happy to say that we now have a roadmap that will position Merck Germany in such a way that the company is prepared for the challenges we will face,” Kai Beckmann, a member of the Merck executive board who is responsible for human resources, says in a statement. Other than jobs that require “manual labor,” such as certain production work, no additional outsourcing will be implemented as part of the cuts.

At the same time, Merck made a point of saying about $315 million will be invested in various German facilities, including the Darmstadt site, which is global headquarters. The cuts, by the way, were foretold last February, when Merck first disclosed a “global efficiency” program.


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