50 jobs to go at pharmaceutical firm

    Katie Bond, Swindon Advertiser


EMOTIONS are running high at a pharmaceutical company after staff were told that 50 roles will be made redundant.


It comes 10 months after workers at Catalent in Frankland Road, Blagrove Industrial Estate, were told that 275 staff were to be laid off during the next two years.

At the time, bosses at the business said they wanted to wind down the factory.


Unite union representative Hugh Kirkbride has blamed under-investment for the job losses.

He said last year: “The Swindon workforce have been using uneconomical machines – some of which are 40 years old.


It’s only the skill of the workforce that meant they could produce complicated products.


Investment has not been forthcoming in the last 10 to 15 years. It has been stifled at board level.”


In the latest cuts, workers say they are only being offered the minimum legal redundancy payout.

One worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said people with years of service would leave with only a couple of hundred pounds.


“They are trying to give us the Government minimum redundancy even though we got into this position by upping our productivity and getting rid of all our backlog,” said the employee.


“It is disgusting how they are treating us.”


In 2008, the company – which was known as Cardinal Health – announced that it would be introducing a new production line, creating 40 new jobs. The company employs 900 people in Swindon and produces more than a billion tablets a year.


Patricia McGee, director of communications at Catalent, who is based in America, said: “I can confirm that we did make an announcement two weeks ago that because of a shift in demand we are making 50 posts redundant.


“This is just at a preliminary stage but we wanted to let staff know as soon as possible. This is in addition to the 200 plus posts that we announced would go earlier as they are in another department. The Swindon site continues to be an important part of our global business.”



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