Pfizer Shifts Jobs From England To Kalamazoo

Drugmaker consolidates its animal health global research operations.

DETROIT (AP) - Pfizer Inc. announced Monday it plans to move 65 jobs from Sandwich, England, to Kalamazoo, Michigan, as part of a consolidation of the drugmaker's animal health global research operations.

The company also plans to shift up to 300 laboratory and office jobs from Richland Township, Michigan, to the Kalamazoo facility, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away. The 2,100-acre Richland Township site, where Pfizer recently finished $50 million (euro37 million) in upgrades, will continue to host the company's research farm operation.

Company officials said the research farm was the reason it chose to base its Veterinary Medicine Research and Development in Kalamazoo. The company said it needed to move the jobs from the farm because lab space for research there is inadequate, and it would demolish three older facilities in Richland Township.

The consolidation is made possible by the pending closure of Pfizer's human-health operation in Kalamazoo by mid-2008. The planned layoffs of about 250 workers there are part of a larger restructuring announced in January.

The company said the 10,000 layoffs, including 2,400 jobs in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Kalamazoo, would reduce annual costs by up to $2 billion (euro1.49 billion). Pfizer has said the Kalamazoo area would retain more than 4,000 workers, including about 3,400 at its manufacturing campus in Portage, Michigan.

The plan announced Monday is subject to the approval of worker groups and local labor laws in England. If approved, some workers there will be offered transfers, and all will be eligible to bid on openings in Kalamazoo and other Pfizer locations, the company said.

Those who do not stay with the company will receive severance benefits, the company said.

The New York-based drug giant said its animal health operation had 2006 worldwide sales of $2.31 billion. Products such as drugs to treat obesity and nausea in dogs and an antibiotic for dairy cattle, were developed all or in part at its Kalamazoo area centers.

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