MANILA (March 16) — Concerned with the potential loss of jobs by Filipinos working in the pharmaceutical industry due to upcoming merger of four major drug companies, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippine (TUCP) has urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to look after medical representatives and production workers facing retrenchment.
“The DOLE should see to it that the displaced workers, whether sales staff or factory personnel, get the severance benefits due them, plus any extra assistance from the government, whether financial or by way of facilitation toward a new job placement,” said former Senator and TUCP secretary-general Ernesto Herrera.
The former chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development also said he was was informed these companies intend to reduce their Philippine staff by an average of 15 percent, and that they were now in the process of identifying jobs for elimination.
Herrera was referring to Pfizer Inc.,a New York-based company, Wyeth Inc., Merck & Co. Inc., Schering-Plough Corp., all from New jersey.
Pfizer is acquiring Wyeth for $68 billion, while Merck is buying Schering-Plough for $41 billion.
According to Herrera, Pfizer had said its takeover of Wyeth would result in the removal of 19,000 employees including those in the overseas operations of the two firms. Pfizer employs more than a 1,000 Filipinos, while Wyeth has over 700 local staff.
Meanwhile, Merck and Schering-Plough, according to Herrera, had said they would slash their combined global headcount by 16,000.