Pfizer has announced a cut of up to 38 jobs at its distribution site in Zaventem, out of the site’s 238 positions. The reason given by the group would be the relocation of the supply planning department to Bucharest, Romania.
The unions said they were shocked by this announcement, in the midst of a pandemic.
“We do not understand the choice of Pfizer at all. For the moment, all the personnel are at the front for the production of the vaccine ”, indicates the union. “To proceed with a dismissal in the current health context is a slap in the face for all Pfizer employees who participate in the success of the company and who, among other things, contribute without counting to the production of vaccines against the Covid”Adds Michel Barbuto, CNE permanent.
The union also specifies that Pfizer has yet paid 8.4 billion euros in dividends in 2020. A figure slightly higher than in previous years if we refer to the financial reports of the group, since the overall amount of dividends was 8 billion in 2018 and 2019 and 7.7 billion in 2017.
“Being one of the few anti-Covid vaccine producers (whose production is based in Puurs, Belgium), Pfizer makes a significant profit on each vaccine (up to 5 euros per dose). The value of their share has doubled in 10 years ”, adds the CNE.
“With this announcement, Pfizer confirms that it is not a savior of humanity, but that it wants above all to be a profit machine. We cannot accept this ”, specifies the union, which wonders if the commitments announced to Puurs, a hundred positions, could benefit the people who will be made redundant in Zaventem.
“Optimize the organization”, according to management
The management, for its part, remains silent. “We are constantly trying to optimize the organization of the global supply chain. We are currently exploring options that will allow us to further centralize our resources, improve process efficiency while continuing to provide the best levels of service. This could result in the redeployment of a defined number of supply chain functions within our extended network “, indicates the spokesperson for the group in Belgium. “As part of the information and consultation procedure, opportunities within other Pfizer sites in Belgium will be examined”, she added.
Pfizer currently has 2,500 employees in Belgium spread over four sites: in Anderlecht (Pfizer clinical research center), in Ixelles (administrative and commercial headquarters), in Puurs (production site) and in Zaventem (distribution center).