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Pharmaceutical plant to make 30 redundant

NEIL FENN: "We will try to minimise any impact"
NEIL FENN: "We will try to minimise any impact"

UP TO 30 full-time jobs at Abbott Laboratories in Queenborough will be axed by the end of next month because of a world-wide recession.

Neil Fenn, manufacturing director at the plant, hoped many of the redundancies could be found by leaving vacancies unfilled and by early retirement.

The Chicago-based company which makes pharmaceutical and health care products blames a global turn-down for its decision to cut 2,000 jobs world-wide.

Mr Fenn said that poor sales of some of Abbott's products and a decline in spending on health care products by many governments were also to blame.

More jobs will also go in 2004 from Abbott's distribution warehouse at Sittingbourne when the operation is moved to a new centre in mainland Europe, although numbers are not yet known. As warehouse jobs became vacant until then, they will filled with casual staff.

Mr Fenn said of next month's redundancies: "They will be right across the site, with the exception of those involved in direct production. It will not affect people manufacturing products."

He added: "We are very sorry that the company has had to make these cuts. We will try to minimise any impact."

A JobCentre spokeswoman said prospects for finding work on Sheppey were fairly upbeat at present, although those seeking specialist and higher paid jobs would have to travel further afield.

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