Thermo Fisher explores partial closure of Swiss site

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Unia
Picture: Unia
Thermo Fisher Scientific is planning to relocate part of a production site in Switzerland to the Czech Republic.

The move would result in the loss of 106 jobs out of 165 in Écublens, according to the IndustriALL Global Union and its affiliate Unia.

Some production would be moved to Brno in the Czech Republic.

The site in Écublens specializes in production of X-ray (XRF and XRD) and optical emission spectrometers (OES).

Strike action and suspension

IndustriALL said 130 staff members took strike action on 19 April after the company announced plans to relocate production from Switzerland.

Thermo Fisher Scientific directed us to an official statement which said an agreement had been reached on 27 April which suspended the strike and set conditions for the consultation procedure.

Unia said as the framework for discussions was set the priority would be maintenance of jobs.

The agreement is only one step on the long road ahead for Thermo Fisher employees to maintain their jobs in Écublens, added the union.

It allows Unia in the negotiations, extends the ten-day consultation period and permits submission of alternative proposals.

Initial rejection

The US board of the company initially rejected a negotiated agreement made on 20 April, according to IndustriALL.

“The US board of the company rejected the negotiated agreement and refused to accept any compromise. US corporate management did not provide reasons or justifications for their decision. This lack of dialogue and unfounded decision of the management pushed workers to continue their strike,”​ said the union.

This agreement, negotiated with help from the employment office of the canton of Vaud, recognized Unia as a negotiating partner and prolonged the consultation period until the end of May.

Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general secretary, had sent a letter to the US board of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

“It is imperative that Thermo Fisher Scientific address the legitimate demands of the workers at the plant in Écublens, and accept the locally-reached agreement, which takes account of the negotiations on the planned relocation of production from Écublens to Brno in the Czech Republic, the extension of the consultation period for the preparation of alternative proposals to this massive job loss, and the provision of the necessary information, and consultation.”

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