SIPTU has welcomed the announcement today (Thursday, 11th July) that Pfizer Ireland Ltd intends to invest $130 million in new manufacturing and research facilities in Ringaskiddy and Grangecastle in County Cork. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Alan O’Leary, said: “This investment by Pfizer Ireland Ltd is particularly important as the pharmaceutical industry is currently undergoing a major transition away from big bulk manufactured products towards lower volume produced drugs. Significant job cuts have been experienced in the industry over recent years as a direct result of patent expiry and the associated drop in volumes.”“SIPTU recently reached a ‘transformational restructuring agreement’ with management of the Pfizer plant in Ringaskiddy to address some of these challenges and we are confident this will further position the site to compete more effectively for new products.”Alan O’Leary added: “Through the SIPTU Innovation in Manufacturing scheme we reached an agreement with Pfizer to enhance our members' roles and as a result we prevented a considerable number of planned job cuts. SIPTU places an overriding priority on safeguarding and protection of manufacturing jobs.“It is in this context that the Pfizer decision to invest in its Ringaskiddy and Grangecastle plants is exceptionally good news for the entire industry. It shows that despite all the challenges currently facing the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland one of the globe’s largest manufacturers is showing real confidence in Irish workers' ability to deliver high quality goods.”