Business reporting is all about numbers--and bigger numbers tend to get more attention. But when it comes to job losses, small numbers can add up to big ones pretty quickly. And for the folks on the receiving end of the cost-cutting axe, it doesn't matter whether they're one of 1,000 or one of 100. They're still out of a job.
So, in the interest of fairness, we give you two drugmakers' job-cutting plans. First, we'll look at GlaxoSmithKline's closure of a Stiefel facility in Sligo, Ireland. GSK bought Stiefel, a skincare specialist, in July and has decided to close the small company's headquarters in Florida, shedding some 300 jobs in the process. Now, GSK will pare its payroll by 250 with the shutdown of Stiefel's manufacturing plant in Sligo.
GSK said it has reviewed Stiefel's global operations since the buyout and determined that the Sligo plant should be shuttered for efficiency's sake. Those 250 jobs are a small fraction of GSK's worldwide payroll, but for the town of Sligo, it's a big blow, officials told the Irish Times. "The closure will have a major impact on the local economy," Sligo's rep to Irish parliament, John Parry, told the Times, "and on many other companies in the area which supply Stiefel with moulds and other equipment for their manufacturing process."
In Kalundborg, Denmark, Novo Nordisk is shuttering an insulin plant. The move will affect 330 workers, but only 100 of those are expected to be laid off, the company said. The other 230 will be moved to other facilties. "We expect to be able to employ all of those 230 workers elsewhere in the company," Novo communications chief Mike Rulis told the Copenhagen Post.
"Elsewhere in the company" could mean "elsewhere in Kalundborg," because Novo operates several other plants in the area. But Rulis couldn't guarantee that the moves would be local. As the Post notes, Novo's recent growth spurt has created jobs mostly in other countries, and the company is now working on a new plant in China. "[W]e're increasingly moving production abroad," Rulis said.