GSK Bangladesh staff anxious fearing closure

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 11:18pm on July 25, 2018


Employees of GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh Limited, a United Kingdom-based pharmaceuticals giant, are deeply concerned that the multinational entity might announce closure of its production in Bangladesh soon.
A number of employees of GSK told New Age on Wednesday that the entity, which set up its Bangladesh production facilities in 1963, might announce its operation closure decision today.
Over 1,000 employees of GSK were passing anxious time as production closure in Bangladesh would lead them to a state of joblessness at once thus creating a vulnerable situation for their families as well, the GSK staff said.
GSK, also a publicly traded company at the Dhaka Stock Exchange, however, denied making any direct comment over the possibility of operation closure announcement.
Instead, following a New Age query on Wednesday, GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh managing director M Nakibur Rahman said, ‘At our second quarterly business update in July 2017, GSK announced that we will run Pharmaceuticals in our emerging markets region as an integrated operation, putting in place the right commercial structure in markets to deliver a sustainable growth ambition.’
He, however, denied making any further comment for now.
A senior official of the entity, however, said that its policymakers were in talks for long on whether the operation of the entity should be continued in Bangladesh or not.
GSK was analysing segment-wise business performance with a view to reaching a conclusion, he said.
As the employees of the entity were becoming demoralised due to confusion over the issue, GSK Bangladesh might take a decision soon, he said.
The official also said that GSK would follow due procedure if any decision were taken on operation closure in Bangladesh and the message would be conveyed to its shareholders through the stock exchanges accordingly.
GSK produces pharmaceuticals and healthcare products.
Because of the uncertainty over future of the company, in which the government has 12 per cent stakes, GSK’s share prices have been falling sharply at the DSE in last few weeks.
There were rumours among the share market investors that the company might sell its production facilities in Chittagong to a local pharmaceutical company.
On Tuesday, GSK employees under the banner of GlaxoSmithKline Employee’s Union held a press briefing at the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka, protesting at the process of shutting down the company’s production in the country.
Md Azam, general secretary of the union, said that following a recent meeting of the company’s directors, the process of shutting it down through decreasing production and marketing had started.
‘Although employees are receiving salaries and other benefits, the company had decreased its production after Eid-ul-Fitr and stopped its production completely on July 22,’ he said adding that no raw materials were bought after the month of June.
‘We suspect that the company authority would come up with an official declaration to shut down the company on July 26,’ he added.