Job losses announced at Haverhill biochemistry firm

Sanofi's site in Rookwood Way, Haverhill
Sanofi's site in Rookwood Way, Haverhill
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The Sanofi site in Rookwood Way, Haverhill, where 57 of the 333 jobs are to go

Biochemistry company Sanofi (formerly Genzyme) in Rookwood Way, told staff last Thursday that 57 of the 333 that work there will be losing their jobs.

The job cuts follow Sanofi’s decision to transfer two thirds of the labelling, packaging and releasing of its rare disease medicines to its site in Waterford, in Ireland.

The main part of the Haverhill’s site’s work, the manufacture of Renvel and Renagel, the main ingredient used in chronic kidney disease drugs, will not be affected.

Haverhill is the only place in the world where the drugs are made.

The Haverhill site manager, Jim Moretta, said: “Nobody will leave until at least two years time and for most it will be two to three years.”

Of the 57 jobs going, 12 will be workers already planning to retire, temporary or agency staff.

Over the next few weeks, added Mr Moretta, Sanofi the other 45 members of staff that will lose their jobs will be deter mined after a full consultation process.

Mr Moretta said it is better for everyone affected to know where they stand as soon as possible.

He added: “When a decision is made like this you want to be on the front foot as early as possible because otherwise it looks unfair.

“We know that it destabilises people but what we want to do is put it into the timetable and make sure people know what it means to them.”

Measures are in place to support employees affected by the transfer and includes giving them the option of relocating to Waterford, where possible, or to other Sanofi sites.

Mr Moretta explained that the Waterford facility currently puts the medicines into vials that are then sent to Haverhill to be packaged, labelled and sent off.

By the end of 2019, the entire process will be completed in Waterford, simplifying the supply chain.

Mr Moretta added: “We are still in a strong position. “Yes, there’s 45 people that will face redundancy but we want to move forward and build on our core strengths in years to come.”