Tuesday 1 February 2011

Pfizer Axes 2,500 Jobs in Kent

Pfizer to close UK research site

Drug maker Pfizer has announced its decission to close its research and development (R&D) facility at Sandwich, Kent, which employs 2,500 people.

The move has once agin raised concerns that the UK is losing highly-skilled jobs and about the private sector's ability to absorb cuts in the public sector.

Unite said the roles were "exactly the sort of jobs we need to keep in this country".

"This closure exposes the government's vacuous claim that the private sector will compensate for its brutal cuts," Unite's national officer, Linda McCulloch said.

Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience at Oxford University, called it a "shocking wake-up call".

"We must respond to this signal that one of our most important industries no longer has confidence in the future of British science."

Business Secretary Vince Cable called the decision "extremely disappointing".

John Denham, Labour's shadow business secretary called it a "deeply worrying development".

"Pharmaceuticals must be a sector where Britain's world reputation secures jobs and growth for the future,".

"This Conservative-led government has no plan for jobs or growth; we cannot afford to lose global industries as easily as this.


According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research an astonishing 97 per cent of jobs created since the economy came out of recession are of limited hours.

This means only 6,000 of the 200,000 jobs to have come up in a year pay a full-time wage. (only 3% of new jobs are full time)

The worrying findings, by a respected think tank, raise the spectre of a sluggish recovery with legions of workers having to accept a so-called ‘McJob’ to make ends meet.