German Drug Maker to Fire 1,100 Workers

German drug and chemicals maker Merck KGaA said today it plans to cut 10% of its workforce by 2015. That means about 1,100 employees of the company's 10,900 German-based staff will eventually be let go. Worldwide Merck KGaA employs 40,000 people.

The company is family-controlled and is not related to publicly traded Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK).

Like other German companies, Merck KGaA is feeling the pinch of lower exports to other Eurozone countries and a slowing of demand from emerging markets such as China.

The company said that the job cuts had been agreed to with the union, and that only 100 jobs would be outsourced as a result of the layoffs. Merck KGaA also agreen that there would be no compulsory firings until the end of 2017, except for two sites that are being closed as part of the restructuring.

The company is also negotiating job reductions at other locations, including in Spain and France and has not yet provided any information on possible job losses at these operations.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Drug companies, Economy, International Markets