The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi will cut 400 jobs in research and development. The company says it wants to achieve two billion savings by 2022. The CGT denounces “fifteen years of successive savings plans”.
The French laboratory Sanofi will cut 400 jobs in its research and development (R&D) branch, in accordance with what had been announced last year, he was told AFP on January 18, 2021.
“This corresponds to what was announced in June last year”, commented to AFP Olivier Bogillot, the French president of Sanofi, after the publication by information by France Inter evoking 400 job cuts in this plugged.
“There will be around 1,000 departures in France, over a three-year schedule, in different parts of the organization, including R&D […] We made the announcements in June, and it took time to put all the strategic directions in place, ”he explained.
Sanofi announced last year the loss of 1,700 jobs in Europe, including a thousand in France, corresponding to the strategy implemented by the new boss of the group, Paul Hudson.
“We cannot comment precisely on the figures or say where the departures are, because we must give this information as a priority to the bodies representing the staff,” said Olivier Bogillot. “But we have always indicated that it is a voluntary departure plan,” he added. Entry into negotiations is expected at the end of January, for first departures in the second part of 2021.
According to the CFDT, the 400 reductions of R&D positions in France mentioned are “not new”. They are among those announced in June and their terms “have not yet been negotiated”, told AFP Aline Eysseric, CFDT member of the central social and economic committee (CSE) of Sanofi Aventis R&D (SARD).
Fifteen years of successive savings plans
In total, the group wants to cut “around 750 R&D jobs in Europe, including 400 in France and 350 in Germany,” said Ms. Eysseric. This file could be on the agenda, on January 28, of the next central SARD CSE, she said.
The CGT denounced for its part “fifteen years of successive savings plans” at Sanofi. Result: “We lost the race for the vaccine against the Covid”, after having pocketed “1.5 billion euros in various tax credits for ten years”, lamented the union.
“We are going to lose more researchers”, protested Jean-Louis Peyren, CGT coordinator of the Sanofi group, “without certainty” on the number of jobs in R&D which will still disappear but affirming that it is about new job cuts.
According to Pascal Lopez, FO member of the Sanofi Group Committee, the project examined on January 28 concerns “600 reductions of R&D jobs, along with 200 compensatory hires in the fields of digital and biotechnology”.
This “net balance of 400 job cuts” comes “in addition” to those announced in June 2020, assured Pascal Lopez.
Two billion savings
Sanofi had indicated at the end of 2019 that it wanted to rationalize its spending, with a target of two billion euros in savings by 2022, in particular by stopping research in diabetes, one of its traditional core businesses, as well as in cardiovascular.
The pharmaceutical group, which is working on the development of two anti-Covid vaccines, will not be able to offer one before the end of 2021. This delay compared to certain competitors has earned it criticism of its strategy.
Several Sanofi unions are calling on employees to strike on January 19 in around twenty sites in France to protest against restructuring and wage policy.