Merck expects to cut 7,000 jobs, close 5 plants


Whitehouse Station, NJ —A restructuring plan at Merck & Co. Inc . is expected to eliminate 7,000 positions and result in the closing or selling of 5 of its 31 manufacturing facilities by the end of 2008. The company expects the initial phase of its cost reduction program to yield cumulative pretax savings of $3.5 to 4.0 billion from 2006 through 2010.

The program is designed to “reduce cost structure, increase efficiency, and enhance competitiveness,” and “is intended to create a leaner, most cost-effective and customer-focused manufacturing model over the next three years,” the company said in a formal statement. Jobs will be eliminated in manufacturing and other divisions worldwide, representing about 11% of its global workforce. About half of the reductions are expected to occur in the U.S. Merck intends to sell or close five facilities worldwide and reduce operations at a number of other sites.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel, senior editor,

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