COUNTY NEWS: GSK job losses are ‘potentially devastating’

The job losses were announced this morning. Picture: Eddie Mitchell
The job losses were announced this morning. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

News that 246 jobs will be cut at GlaxoSmithKline’s Sussex site is ‘potentially devastating’, a workers union has said.

More than a third of the 672 jobs at the pharmaceutical giant’s Worthing site will be lost after the company announced plans to sell its Horlicks brand, GSK announced today.

Mick Pollek, regional officer for workers union Unite, said: “This is both extremely concerning news – and potentially devastating for the workers and their families as it appeared that GSK was investing significantly at the Worthing operation, and now these job losses are suddenly announced.”

Union representatives will be meeting with GSK senior management next week get to the bottom of why the jobs are being cut.

Unite’s national officer for the pharmaceutical industry Tony Devlin said: “This announcement has come as a significant blow for Unite members.

“These are skilled jobs that are under threat and we can’t afford to lose such manufacturing posts, with the economic challenges of Brexit looming.

“We will be fighting very hard against any proposal for compulsory redundancies and will be offering the union’s maximum support to our members in the days and weeks ahead at what is a very challenging time.”

Unite has about 1,000 members within GSK across the country, and will be meeting the Worthing representatives on Monday.

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing borough Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “We are disappointed to hear the news from GSK but obviously recognise that all businesses have to undergo reorganisation from time to time.

“We welcome GSK’s commitment that they remain committed to Worthing with a large operation of more than 400 jobs and will continue to maintain dialogue with them.

“As a council we will also continue to push our regeneration and economy agenda to draw in more investment and jobs into the town as a whole.”