Date Released: 10 July 2014
SIPTU Organiser Alan O'Leary has said that the announcement by Pfizer that it will not proceed with the planned cut of 60 operator jobs at its Ringaskiddy plant in Cork is very welcome. The planned cuts were announced in 2012 but following intensive discussions an agreement has been reached which has resulted in the retention of the operator jobs.
Alan O'Leary said:
"After comprehensive talks with local Pfizer management a transformational agreement was brokered in 2013 with the assistance of the Labour Relations Commission. This innovation agreement led to almost half of the planned operator job cuts being avoided. Since then, the union has continued dialogue with management in a forensic review of the remaining job cuts and planned closure of the OSP3 building.
"A business case was then jointly formulated by the union and Pfizer management to save the remaining jobs. The decision by Pfizer headquarters in New York last week to accept the joint business plan and reverse the job cuts is a significant vote of confidence in the workforce at Ringaskiddy and is an example of a completely positive turnaround. The transformational agreement will be adopted by the unions pharmaceutical chemical and medical devices sector as a template on how to negotiate radical restructuring without job cuts.
"Our transformational agreement with Pfizer provided the right environment to secure new investment. Last year, the company reversed a decision to move production of Lipitor out of Ireland and it has also invested 30 million dollars in a new ultra-modern Research and Development facility to assist in the development of new product pipeline.
"The latest confirmation by Pfizer that it will reverse all of the planned 60 operator job cuts proves that adopting a partnership approach to new and innovative ways of working can provide a viable alternative option for restructuring without negatively impacting workers. This positive announcement is irrefutable evidence that highly skilled Irish workers employed in Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) here can deliver world class productivity by adopting new innovative ways of working.
"If we are to grow jobs within the manufacturing base and move out of economic stagnation transformational partnership agreements such as this should be adopted as the new industrial relations pathway rather than the slash and burn approach. Our members are more than willing to deliver the highest levels of operational efficiency and high quality production in order to secure long term future viability of MNCs as this also protects incomes and employment into the future".