MEP joins fight to save 100 jobs

MORE than 100 employees facing redundancy from an American-owned pharmaceutical firm have been offered a glimmer of hope after community leaders agreed to launch a battle to save their jobs.

MORE than 100 employees facing redundancy from an American-owned pharmaceutical firm have been offered a glimmer of hope after community leaders agreed to launch a battle to save their jobs.

Schering-Plough, which runs the manufacturing plant in Mildenhall, announced last month there was a "real possibility" it could close in December – but campaigners yesterday vowed to fight to keep the factory open.

Richard Howitt, MEP for Suffolk, met with community leaders to formulate an action plan – and said he would take his plea to save the plant direct to company bosses in America, if necessary.

"I convened the meeting because the clock is ticking on over 100 job losses, and we only have the company's word to suggest these redundancies are necessary," he said.


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"As far as I am concerned, the case for closure of the plant is not yet proven. Mildenhall needs the jobs and, together with the workforce and local community leaders, we will impress upon the company that it has a duty to listen in full to the arguments.

"This is a wealthy pharmaceutical company, with a headquarters based 3,500 miles away in the United States, that seems to be arguing it cannot afford to invest in the Mildenhall plant in order to reach the quality standard in the UK and European Union.

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"We now intend to work our way up the chain of command, even approaching the company headquarters in America if necessary, to ask for intervention."

A spokesman for Schering Plough said all options remained open to the company, while employees were currently being consulted about their future.

She added that the results of the process would be known in December – once a statutory 90-day period had ended.

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