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Five hundred layoffs at Sanofi-Aventis. Closure in sight for research in Milan

Closure of the Milan research center and 500 layoffs. This is what the "tears and blood" restructuring plan provides for, presented by the French pharmaceutical multinational Sanofi-Aventis to the unions in recent days. The reaction of the group's 3,400 workers who launched an eight-hour strike last Friday and who will repeat the initiative on 2 December was immediate.

Going into the details of the indigestible business plan, it can in fact be observed that the dismissal of as many as 500 people is envisaged, with the annexed closure of the research center in Milan (which employs 60 workers), reductions in the workforce of 10-15% in the area of scientific information and about the 10% in the Milan office.

And again: restructuring of the sites of Origgio, in the province of Varese, and of Scoppito, in the province of L'Aquila; in addition to the closure of the Modena site of Genzyme Italia (American multinational, acquired a few years ago by Sanofi-Aventis) in which about seventy specialized technicians are employed.

“An unacceptable plan,” he commented Marco Falcinelli, of the Filctem-Cgil national secretariat – both for the serious employment consequences and for the strategic choices, more based on financial interests for the benefit of the shareholders than on continuing the industrial and scientific commitment in Italy».

In fact, the multinational pharmaceutical company has decided to concentrate its R&D activity in 3 global hubs in the USA – in Boston in Germany and France, and consequently to close the Italian research site, also concentrating antibiotic research in Brindisi, maintaining the current economic investments of around 300 million euros in Italy, to carry out clinical research through initiatives with universities and foundations, as well as the new research of antibiotics in the Brindisi area.

Further redundancies are declared in the commercial network (Isf) and in the headquarters, which the company would like to manage by June 2012. The reasons could be traced back to a significant reduction in scientific information activity among general practitioners, and a consequent negative impact on sales support staff activities, in addition to the concentration in Romania of HR and Financial activities.

The story of the closure of the Modena site is somewhat unusual. Genzyme Italia – the Sanofi Aventis group (whose only national office is in Modena) – announced to the 70 workers the closure of the Modena site as early as 2012, with the consequent transfer of activities to the Milan research centre. Workers were therefore offered a substantial redundancy incentive to accept the dismissal. A real paradox to close a facility in Modena, the pride of the advanced tertiary sector in the city, announcing the transfer of activities to Milan and, shortly after, communicating the closure of the Milanese research center.

«The company model that we want to pursue – continues the trade unionist Falcinelli – is the one that envisages a strong commercial presence, albeit reduced,

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco