Known to be coming in various forms since a few weeks after the November 2009 closing date, and most recently mentioned here in May 2011, it is still a disappointment to see it play out, in earnest in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
I've quoted a bit from a local Philly paper, below, but do go read Ed Silverman's definitive piece on the development, here -- looks like he got his hands on the internal company email first. Do also read here about Jim Edwards' take on the Orwellian language used in the company wide email.
. . . ."In the coming weeks, we will restructure the following select HQ functions and field groups within the U.S. Market: Marketing & Customer Solutions; Managed Markets & Policy; Strategy & Commercial Model Innovation; and the Neuropsychiatric and Women's Healthcare specialty sales teams," Timney's e-mail said.
Merck [and legacy Schering-Plough both] eliminated jobs before and after [the] acquisition of Schering Plough. . . . [When the dust settles, Merck's workforce total will be about equal to what it was without Schering-Plough -- said another way, in terms of FTEs, effectively all the workers of legact Schering-Plough will be gone -- with New Merck back to about 53,000.]
Pharma-industry watchers have suggested that about 5,200 of the total cuts could be U.S. jobs, with from 3,000 to 4,000 in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. A Merck spokesman would not comment on the state-by-state plans. The cuts through October won't be the end of the process, though.
In August, Merck offered buyout packages to some employees, but there was no expectation that the buyouts alone would meet the numbers required by management. Merck said that in some areas it would continue to add employees but cut elsewhere.
Timney said the company was open to voluntary layoffs:
"We will also offer the opportunity for employees in the aforementioned select areas to proactively 'hand raise' and be considered for separation. . . ."
"Hand raise. . ."? Really?! My thoughts are with those affected -- as I've been through at least six separate rounds of such "right-sizings" -- but however it turns out, know that you are not alone. Over 100,000 have faced your fate, in Pharma in the last two years, alone. Ugh.