News reports last week suggested the US drugmaker is planning to lay off staff at its Pfizer Korea subsidiary, which currently employs 750, as part of an efficiency drive.
Pfizer spokesman Andrew Topen told us the firm is evaluating its business in Korea and based on this review “will implement an early retirement program targeting employees across the entire organization.”
He added that: “No specific discussions or plans have been made regarding the target, size and timing of the planned early retirement program, and the management team is currently in discussions with the labour union.”
Topen also said that “We are confident that these changes will enhance our competitiveness and allow us to invest in areas that derive the greatest value for the communities we serve.”
He added that: "During this process, we will ensure that all impacted colleagues are treated with utmost respect and fairness."
Pfizer Korea generated revenue of 628bn won ($534m) in 2014, which was up 4.8% on the previous year.
The labour union that represents the majority of Pfizer Korea’s employees confirmed it was in talks with the US drugmaker.
The organisation told the Korea Times "negotiations are underway between labor and management," adding that "We will cooperate with management if layoffs are deemed necessary.
However, the Union also warned that: “We will oppose management if it pushes layoffs forward without justifiable reasons."