London: Indian pharmaceutical major Wockhardt is cutting jobs in its British division due to a steep fall in orders from the United States.
Wockhardt UK, based on the Wrexham Industrial Estate, is shedding 18 night shift posts. The redundancies will reduce the workforce to 307.
Company managing director Sijiwan Singh said it was unfortunate, but a sign of the times. He said, “To a great extent our clients for pharmaceutical and biotechnology products are in the US.”
“But because of the credit crunch financing is becoming increasingly difficult. It is unfortunate, but with this whole meltdown, our clients and orders are diminishing day by day.”
Singh said the night shift affected by the job cuts was only started in addition to the two existing shifts after an upsurge last year. But the company, which manufactures medicine, vaccines, nutrition products, and pharmacy ingredients, would now scale back to two shifts.
The Wrexham plant is part of the international group with its headquarters in India. The cuts are the latest to hit the region as manufacturing industries struggle in the current economic gloom.
Meanwhile, Cigma, an American healthcare company with a processing centre in Ireland is closing with the loss of all 180 jobs. It is shutting its processing centre at Loughrea, County Galway, in June and moving operations to India and the Philippines.
Galway County Council mayor Councillor Peter Feeney last night called the move “a disaster” for the region. He said: “It is a huge blow taking 180 jobs out of a small town. But it is probably a sign of things to come with American firms leaving.”