As GlaxoSmithKline prepares to trim its workforce, public officials are getting into gear. They don't want the jobs cuts to happen in their communities, so they're trying to persuade Glaxo to cut back somewhere else--or take a different approach altogether. And when they're not lobbying the drugmaker itself, they're scrambling to replace those jobs another way.
Or both. Just take Essex, England, where the local council has pledged to attract a new employer to make up for the some 380 jobs set to be cut at a Glaxo facility there. While local officials promise that other employers are plenty interested in their community, the Parliament rep has written the company to demand a meeting with CEO Andrew Witty.
And over in Italy, officials are trying to persuade the company to consider "alternative options" to shutting down a facility--for instance, spinning off part of the business there.
You can bet that national, state and local officials are doing the same wherever Pfizer might cut back in the wake of its merger with Wyeth--as well as with Merck as it streamlines operations to absorb Schering-Plough. We may never know exactly what sort of pleading is going on behind the scenes.