Roche Lays Off 400 Jobs in Styria
The Swiss pharmaceutical group reduces its international workforce by 6%: a setback for the region.
In the coming years, Roche International will eliminate 4,800 jobs, including 770 in Switzerland. The Roche Diagnostics Division location Graz will be closed down by 2013, which means the elimination of 400 jobs in the region. Some of the employees will continue working at the Swiss location Rotkreuz, where 130 new jobs are being created.
For Styria and in particular the Human Technology Cluster (HTS) this shutdown means a major setback. The news came as a complete surprise. The HTS commented on the report very curtly: “We do not know yet what this will mean in practice". The HTS is a cooperation between the Schinko-Neuroth company, the Joanneum Research, the Medical University of Graz, and until now, Roche, in which the Swiss group clearly had the role of locomotive.
The exit of Roche is also bad news for the provincial policy: the provincial government was planning to turn Styria into a region of human technology. The new Styrian coalition recently defined the key subjects of the future economic development: mobility, eco-technology and health technology. The Styrian provincial economy counselor, Christian Buchmann, considered the decision as unacceptable. "I'm not sure if the Roche Executive Committee in Switzerland even knows how high the research rate is at our location. I strongly doubt that Rotkreuz has a better research environment than we do. The Human Technology Cluster will not collapse however, according to Buchmann.