Friday, September 24, 2010

Small Organon BioSciences Update -- On the Radio, In Oss, The Netherlands

We were off the grid most of yesterday, with other duties.

Even so, courtesy of Ed Silverman at Pharmalot, we were alerted yesterday morning to a smallish follow-up piece on Merck's agreement to continue discussions, and negotiate in good faith -- at least through December 31, 2010 -- as to the fate of the 4,500 Organon R&D workers in Oss. [Here is the Radio Netherlands source item -- do go read it all]:

. . . .Merck is willing to talk with interested parties about a long-term solution. The company may even invest in a science campus. However, there are no guarantees that all jobs will be saved as Organon will still have to undergo a reorganisation. It is not clear how many jobs may have to go. The minister says a deadline of 31 December to find solutions still stands.

The recently announced plans caused commotion among staff, who threatened legal steps against mass sackings. . . .

This came after a visit by a Dutch official to Whitehouse Station, to discuss the plight of the workers, according to Radio Netherlands. Earlier reports have it that the "other Merck" -- KGaA, in Germany -- might venture, or partner-up to ultimately assume the operation, en todo. We'll keep you posted. That "other" Merck KGaA is reeling from yesterday's Cladribine EU washout -- KGaA's once-vaunted MS drug candidate. So we shall see.


Anonymous said...

an earlier report mentioned that each day several workers would march to city hall. did that ever happen?

Condor said...

Indeed, it did.

It was well underway, when Merck agreed to renegotiate -- I suspect it was having a reputational influence on MSD (Merck's EU subsidiary name) in the Dutch papers, and TV.

I think -- but do not know -- that the "relay march" protests you ask about have been suspended, during the pendency of these talks, at least through December 31, 2010.

Hope this helps.