Pfizer begins shut-down process at Durham site

Drug giant Pfizer filed notice Tuesday that it will begin eliminating jobs at a former research and development site operated by Wyeth in Durham.

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DURHAM, N.C. — Drug giant Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) filed notice Tuesday with the North Carolina Department of Commerce that it will begin eliminating jobs at a research and development site in Durham.

The announcement is the latest step in a global restructuring of research and development networks, spokesman Rick Chambers said.

In November, Pfizer announced plans to close both the Durham site acquired from Wyeth and an R&D operation in Sanford.

“Pfizer has been undergoing restructuring activities in connection with its recent acquisition of Wyeth,” said Michel Danis, senior director of human resources for Pfizer, wrote in the WARN letter filed with the state.

WARN, which stands for “Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification,” must be filed 60 days before plant closings or layoffs.

“These restructuring activities are occurring in various operations and are impacting sites and operations around the world,” Danis wrote.

In all, about 90 people work for Pfizer in Durham, Chambers said. All of those jobs will be eliminated over time, but each of the employees will have the opportunity to bid for positions at other Pfizer locations, he said.

Pfizer is also offering job search counseling and severance packages to the Durham employees, Chambers said.

Pfizer also operates a Poultry Health Division in RTP that employs some 165 people and a 325,000-square-foot plant in Sanford primarily to make components for its pediatric vaccine Prevnar. About 1,000 people work at that plant. Neither of those locations is targeted in the reorganization.



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