140 jobs under threat at Elanco site in Merseyside

Elanco, the animal health division of Eli Lilly and Company, has outlined plans to cut costs at its facility in Speke, Merseyside through proposed redundancies of approximately one hundred and forty staff (Insider Media, 2017).

Elanco is proposing to embark upon a non-contractual voluntary redundancy programme for permanent employees and a review of contractors’ current assignments. The site will now enter into collective consultation, which is expected to conclude by the end of March 2017.

Elanco said that it has informed its workforce in Speke about “changes in the global manufacturing organisation as part of the company’s continual transformation journey to evolve its global cost structure and improve operational excellence”.

It added “This proposal, while difficult, is not a reflection of site performance at Speke. Elanco’s manufacturing organisation must continue to respond to rapidly shifting market dynamics. In order to advance Elanco’s transformation agenda and strategic intent, the company must align capacity and capabilities to meet future business needs.”

“Elanco does not take this proposal lightly. We are sensitive to the needs of those affected by these changes and commit to keep employees informed throughout the process. We are wholly committed to treating affected employees with the utmost respect and integrity reflective of our company values.”

Maria Eagle, MP for Garston and Halewood, said that she stands ready to help those affected and the company in any way that she can. She said “I am concerned to be informed of up to 140 redundancies as a result of cutbacks at the Eli Lilly (Elanco) manufacturing plant in Speke as part of a worldwide programme which includes the USA and other European operations.”

“I have spoken directly with company representatives who have assured me that the decision to downsize is as a result of global conditions, is not a reflection on the quality of the work force or products at Speke and does not have implications for the future of the site. I will continue to meet with company and staff unions to ensure the assurances I have received are met.”

The Speke manufacturing site, which was acquired by Lilly in 1963, was originally commissioned by the UK Government during World War Two to produce penicillin for military and civilian use. At that time, Speke was the largest penicillin manufacturing plant in the world. Lilly’s operations in Speke specialise in fermentation and biotechnology, mainly manufacturing animal health products for Elanco. Over the past fifty years, Speke has manufactured many of Lilly’s medicines, including biosynthetic insulin, and a number of medicines for the treatment of depression and tuberculosis. In 2013 Lilly said that the factory employed over six hundred people.

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