AstraZeneca Job losses

John Leech MP letter to Astra Zeneca

Last week AstraZeneca announced it would be axing up to two hundred jobs from their European Business Services Centre in Chorlton. This is a big blow, particularly as the economy’s recovery still appears to be weak and as unemployment in the area remains at a high number.

The jobs that are to be lost are skilled accounting and finance positions and those affected will have to either apply for other posts or be redeployed elsewhere.

I have written to the CEO of AstraZeneca asking if there is anything that can be done to mitigate the job losses. While I understand that in these difficult times companies feel the need to restructure to cut costs, it is imperative that such highly skilled people are supported and their skills retained where possible.

The full article can be read on the Manchester Evening News Website here:

3 responses to “AstraZeneca Job losses

  1. Hi John,

    I’m one of the people affected by the job losses. Whilst I appreciate the effort you’ve taken to follow the story and contact the CEO, it is part of a much bigger picture. We’re working for a huge multi-national firm that is cutting jobs worldwide.
    Since leaving university, it’s the second time my job has been outsourced to Eastern Europe/Asia where labour costs are much lower.

    I only work in finance using my language skills (something apparently in decline in our schools) but a colleague, a chemist with a PhD from Oxford, works in Research where he will be sacked too! We both have transferable skills but it seems companies are not willing to invest in them her in the UK any longer.

    In the same way, labour was replaced by machinery and manufacturing was usurped by cheap imports, the service industry is now threatened by the lower labour costs in developing nations.

    The unfortunate symptom of a globalised world dominated by corporate greed and competition where profits are the bottom line. What can be done long term to arrest this shift?


  2. Thanks Tom. I have had first hand experience of outsourcing from my previous job before becoming an MP. In my experience outsourcing abroad saves money, but usually results in a worse service. This may or may not be the case for AstraZeneca, but I certainly won’t sit and do nothing while jobs are threatened in the Constituency.

    • Thanks for your reply, John. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t suggesting you were not willing to fight for jobs – simply the project has been over 2 years in the making and the contracts were signed late last year so it’s now we’re somewhat resigned to losing our jobs. A few managers will be retained by Genpact to aid the transition but there’s small consolation.

      Regarding the effectiveness of outsourcing, only time will tell but we need to think more about the local community moving forward. We need political action to provide new jobs and opportunities locally while retaining existing employers in the area. How can this be done?

      Your party’s manifesto pledge to invest in green jobs and the government’s recent grant for Nissan to develop electric cars in the threatened car plant up in Sunderland hint at one possible way forward…

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