In a move to consolidate manufacturing plants, Pfizer (New York, NY, www.pfizer.com) revealed last Thursday, Nov. 17 that it would be eliminate its Parsippany, New Jersey location by year end 2008, laying off approximately 128 employees by the start of 2006.
The company stated in a release that the 490 workers currently employed at the site will receive as much support as possible during this transition period, including severance, job placement assistance, and other benefits. “Those who wish to remain with Pfizer will have an opportunity to apply for openings for which they qualify at other locations within the company,” said MacDara Lynch, Pfizer’s vice-president of manufacturing for the eastern United States and Canada.
There are no plans to reduce the 75-person workforce at Pfizer’s logistics and distribution center, also located in Parsippany.
The Star Ledger newspaper reported last Friday that Pfizer had received $25 million in sales tax exemptions from the state of New Jersey for its retention of 2070 jobs. This came on top of $30 million already awarded for creating 1100 jobs in New Jersey. Pfizer, however, contends that the tax breaks were for past benchmarks, not for future endeavors. According to Pfizer, the company has a $400-million building project underway at its Morris Plains, New Jersey site.
The phase-out of the Parsippany plant is part of an ongoing initiative to align global manufacturing capacity with product demand and to adjust manufacturing operations to address changing market conditions, said Lynch in a release. “Pfizer began a review of all its global manufacturing facilities in 2003 following its acquisition of Pharmacia. Over the past two years the company has announced plans to divest or close more than two dozen plants around the world, reducing the number of its manufacturing facilities from 93 to 66.”Lynch said Pfizer will try to sell the Parsippany plant as an ongoing operation, but plans to close it by the end of 2008 if a buyer cannot be found. “A number of pharmaceutical and consumer health products presently manufactured at the facility—including BenGay, Desitin, Visine, and Zyrtec syrup—will be transferred in phases to other plants.”