MSD to cut 280 jobs in Wicklow, plans to cease operations by 2015

Two hundred and eighty jobs are being cut at a pharmaceutical company in Co Wicklow.

Staff at MSD's Rathdrum site were called to a meeting to discuss the cuts this morning.

It is understood the cuts are part of a worldwide reduction in costs at the company.

Their plant in Rathrdum will cease operations by the end of 2015.

The company have been in Wicklow since 1961.

“Rathdrum has been a significant manufacturing site since 1961 and has a long history of operational excellence,” according to John Smith, site director.

“The proposal to cease operations is not a reflection of the site’s performance or the highly skilled people working there.

"The proposed action is the result of MSD’s ongoing review of the global manufacturing capacities needed to support its growth, business goals, product portfolio and pipeline.”

An MSD statement added: "The company will now enter into consultation with employees and their

representatives. MSD is committed to dealing with all affected employees with dignity and respect, and will provide appropriate support between now and the cessation of manufacturing activities at the site."

Products manufactured in Rathdrum will now be transferred to sites in Tipperary and Singapore, as well as to third-party manufacturers.

MSD also employs approximately 2,000 people at sites in Carlow, Cork, Dublin and Tipperary. Those sites are not affected by today’s announcement.

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