MSD-Organon victim of multinationals' greed

9 July 2010

MSD-Organon victim of multinationals' greed

'Unacceptable' is the reaction of SP Member of Parliament Paul Ulenbelt to the mass redundancy – affecting 2,175 employees of the pharmaceuticals firm MSD (formerly known as Organon) – in Oss, a town of just under 80,000 people in North Brabant, in the south of the Netherlands. "This is a disaster for the people who work there, for their families, for the 5,000 people employed in firms which supply MSD-Organon and for the future of many young people. Everyone understands that a firm which is no longer able to sell its products must close, but Organon is very much alive and kicking. It's totally unacceptable that a company should close because shareholders can make a few more percentage points of profit elsewhere."

When plans for mass redundancies were leaked, Ulenbelt asked the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment and the Minister for Economic Affairs to intervene to do what they could to prevent the job losses. Since then, however, it has become clear that 2,175 jobs will go. "The firm formerly known as Organon is the victim of the multinationals' macabre game of trading in companies, closing them down without compunction and without a second thought for the enormous damage which they are het inflicting on local communities,"says Ulenbelt.

Ulenbelt thoroughly disapproves of the government's attitude of 'wait and see'. "They are always going on about the knowledge economy, but when a hi-tech enterprise making cutting edge medicines is threatened with closure they sit on their hands," he says. "They must now take the initiative and act internationally to put some restraint on the destructive trade in companies.”

Paul Peters, who leads the SP's group on Oss local council, also wants to see action. “The results of this mass redundancy will be tragic," he says. "We are going to mobilise with all we have to resist this appalling and scandalous plan. And we want the minister and the local councillors and council leaders, in agreement with the unions and the workers, to take immediate action together to preserve employment in Oss.” A motion to that effect proposed by the SP won unanimous support at a meeting of the council.

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