Plans by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to cut 200 jobs at its factory in Durham have been met with “shock” by union leaders.
The GMB general union said the job losses were worse than expected and that it was bad news for the region, which has already seen a series of redundancies announced by other firms.
Steve Tompkins, of the GMB, commented: “The number of redundancies is higher than GMB had expected. We are shocked that the figure is 200, which is a very big hit. Everyone in the community knows someone who works there.”
GSK site director Roger Connor said: “We very much regret the need for these proposed job losses but they are essential to remain competitive within the global pharmaceutical market.
“It is a difficult proposal for the company to make and I want to emphasise that it is not a reflection on the quality of our staff or on our commitment to the Barnard Castle site.”
Mr Connor added that GSK would continue to invest in the site, with £17 million planned for 2009 in addition to the £48 million invested in the past two years.
“These investments and the proposed restructuring announced today will put us in the best possible position to ensure a sustainable future for the site,” he added.
Copyright Press Association 2008