UP to 70 jobs could be lost at one of the Borough’s biggest employers.

NPIL Pharma has announced plans to slash the 400-strong workforce at its Morpeth pharmaceutical plant to cut costs.

Jobs across all departments are at risk, including management posts, with final details to be decided following consultation with staff.

Company bosses say the redundancies are necessary to secure the long-term future of the site and maintain its competitiveness in a difficult industry.

Site Leader Aidan Walker said: “NPIL Pharma is an important part of the local business community and our aim is to ensure the long-term viability of the Morpeth facility against an increasingly competitive global business background.

“It is always regrettable when decisions are made that affect the job security of individuals, however it is in no way a reflection of the talent and skills of our workforce.”

Fourteen new roles will be created at the Whalton Road factory as part of internal reorganisation and it is hoped that any cuts will be found through voluntary redundancies, but bosses have warned that some compulsory job losses may have to be imposed.

Talks are taking place with the Site Consultative Committee and support systems for staff will be set up, including career assistance and re-training.

Jobs are expected to be phased out from the turn of the year.

Castle Morpeth Council Leader Peter Jackson said: “This is regrettable news of significant job losses for the Borough, particularly in view of the positive statements made by NPIL when it took over from Pfizer about its plans to retain jobs at the Morpeth site.

“We would hope that all efforts will be made to avoid compulsory redundancies.”

MP Peter Atkinson shared the concerns, but he accepted that the company needed to remain competitive.

“It is very sad. It is always bad news when we lose jobs, particularly good jobs from a business that s long established in the area,” he said.

“The difficulty for all businesses in the region is that they are competing with other companies in places like China and India so they have to make sure their costs are kept to a minimum in order to compete.

“If this saves the future of the company in Morpeth at least that is something. It is not closure.

“The important thing now is for the local organisations like One NorthEast and the councils to see if they can help if necessary to find alternative employment for any workers affected.

“However, I do hope that the job losses can be obtained through voluntary redundancies, rather than compulsory.”

NPIL took over the site in June 2006 from Pfizer to become part of the Nicholas Piramal India group.

It has been seeking to expand its business supplying manufacturing and development services to the global pharmaceutical industry. is long established in the area,” he said.

“The difficulty for all businesses in the region is that they are competing with other companies in places like China and India so they have to make sure their costs are kept to a minimum in order to compete.

“If this saves the future of the company in Morpeth at least that is something. It is not closure.

“The important thing now is for the local organisations like One NorthEast and the councils to see if they can help if necessary to find alternative employment for any workers affected.

“However, I do hope that the job losses can be obtained through voluntary redundancies, rather than compulsory.”

NPIL took over the site in June 2006 from Pfizer to become part of the Nicholas Piramal India group.

It has been seeking to expand its business supplying manufacturing and development services to the global pharmaceutical industry.

Source

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