Unions say around 1,000 people have demonstrated in Basel against plans by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis to cut 2,000 jobs, including 1,100 in Switzerland.
“The demonstrators … are criticising Novartis for putting profits ahead of jobs and want it to reconsider its decision,” said the trade union Unia in a statement.
Novartis announced the cuts, which will take effect over the next three to five years, on Tuesday. A further 900 positions will be eliminated in the United States.
The news came as Novartis announced its third-quarter results, posting a seven per cent increase in net profit and earnings of $2.49 billion (SFr2.19 billion), up from $2.32 billion for the same period last year.
Sales grew 18 per cent to $14.8 billion in the third quarter, with new products contributing about a quarter, or $3.6 billion.
Along with the 2,000 job losses, the Basel-based company said 700 new positions would be created in low-cost countries, resulting in estimated annual savings of over $200 million.
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