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Local Blow As Novartis Announce Over 300 Job Losses

Writes Ciaran Dineen

It was a very difficult morning for workers in Novartis, Ringaskiddy today after it was announced that the international company intends to lay-off 320 employees over a three-year period. There was a huge sense of shock upon the revelation, with many local politicians only finding out late on Tuesday night about the disappointing news.

Novartis have made the decision based on their own strategic review, which recently concluded following a three-year process. They now look to move a part of their division out of the harbour area and utilise their resources elsewhere. Unfortunately this means that 320 staff and 320 families, many of whom live in the local catchment area, now face a level of uncertainty over their employment future. Over the next two years a little under 50% of the 320 will be made redundant with the further employees finishing up by mid-2020.

For some of the 320 workers this will resemble a tragic sense of untimely deja vu, as some current employees in Novartis were previously laid off by another competitor in the area following the 2008 economic recession. It is hoped that like then, many of the staff will find job opportunities in other companies in the harbour area given their high-skill level.

In his reaction statement to the news, An Tánaiste Simon Coveney said, “the news this morning from Novartis is a significant blow and very difficult for the highly skilled workers and their families. I have spoken to the Ministers for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, as well as the IDA to ensure all available supports from state agencies are now open to the staff affected by this Novartis announcement.”

Upon receiving the information, local Carrigaline LEA Councillor, Seamus McGrath (FF), immediately made his way to the site in Ringaskiddy and released a statement saying, ” devastating news this morning for workers at Novartis. Multinationals contribute hugely to our economy and provide great employment, but days like today show we are vulnerable to decisions taken in faraway boardrooms. Authorities need to fully engage with the company and do everything possible to limit the impact. Every support and advice must be provided for the workers.”

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