Swiss labour union to sue German Merck over planned job cuts

04 May 2012 15:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A Swiss labour union plans to sue German specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals firm Merk KGaA over planned job cuts in Geneva, it said on Friday.

Angestellte Schweiz said Merck’s cuts may violate Swiss labour laws, in particular requirements for consultation and workers representation.

The lawsuit was the only way to delay or even prevent the job losses, the union added.

Merck announced last week that it will close its Serono pharmaceuticals operation in Geneva. Merck plans to transfer about 750 positions in Geneva to other locations, and it plans to cut 500 positions as part of an efficiency programme.

A spokesperson at Merck's headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, said the company could not immediately comment on the union’s action.

In related news, Swiss fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals firm Lonza said on Friday it will seek to avoid dismissing workers as part of planned efficiency improvements at its production hub in Visp, Switzerland.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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