9/21/2011 8:15:43 AM
Amid the thousands of layoffs taking place in the pharmaceutical industry, a relatively rare battle is brewing in Berkeley, California. Some 400 unionized employees of a Bayer plant are bracing for contract talks amid fears they will encounter the same fate as workers at a nearby plant that is being closed because work is being shifted to a contract manufacturer. The episode apparently marks one of the few remaining instances in which workers at a US pharma facility hope to exercise some union muscle to preserve their jobs. Union clout in the pharmaceutical industry has dwindled as manufacturing has shifted overseas and plants have been closed as part of numerous large-scale restructurings in recent years. However, unions still hold some sway in Europe (read here and here).
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