GlaxoSmithKline to close Sligo lab with loss of 165 jobs

GlaxoSmithKline (PA)
GlaxoSmithKline (PA)

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced it is to wind down its operations in Sligo, with the loss of 165 jobs.

After operating in the region for more than 40 years, British-based GSK announced the job losses which will take place over the next three years.

The company told employees at Stiefel Laboratories of its proposal to phase down production at the skincare manufacturing site.

It is understood that the proposal is to decommission the site, which first opened in 1975, by the end of 2021.

GSK said that the site had delivered significant improvements in cost and efficiency.

“However, demand for the products made on site has not grown in line with previous expectations, due to the highly competitive market in which we operate, making our current business model unsustainable,” it added.

Local TD Tony McLoughlin is disappointed by the closure. Photo: Tom BurkeLocal TD Tony McLoughlin is disappointed by the closure. Photo: Tom Burke

Local TD Tony McLoughlin is disappointed by the closure. Photo: Tom Burke

“We have not made this proposal lightly. We thoroughly evaluated a number of alternatives for the Sligo site, none of them were considered feasible without significant further investment.”

The company said that its main priority at present is to support the highly skilled professionals working at the site through this period.

“We understand the impact of this proposal on our employees, their families, and the local region,” the statement read.

GSK’s manufacturing sites in Cork and Dungarvan and commercial operations in Dublin are not understood to be affected by this proposal.

Local Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin spoke of his disappointment at the company’s decision to pull out of the area and pledged to help families.

“I have spoken to the Department for Business Enterprise and Innovation this morning, who have advised me that the immediate concern of the department is for the workers and families directly impacted by this development,” he said.

While he believes that many of the affected employees will remain in their jobs during the wind-down process, he said the Government will do all that it can to source new employment for the area.

“The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection is aware of the situation and we will be doing our utmost to help these workers transition and find new employment opportunities when the time comes,” he said.

Irish Independent

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