Merck Serono did not mention it would close its Geneva headquarters to Geneva cantonal officials just weeks before the closure was announced.
Francois Unger, the head of the Geneva cantonal executive, said the closure wasn’t mentioned at a meeting with company managers on February 22.
Unger told the website of the Le Temps newspaper that the cantonal government was told by a Merck personnel official that a global restructuring was necessary, but that the person said he had no idea about the effects on the Geneva site.
Unger said it also wasn’t mentioned by Merck Serono board president Francois Naef last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the UNI Global Union, Philip Jennings, thinks a recent deal between the canton of Vaud and Novartis could be a model for Geneva to keep the Merck site.
Jennings told the Tribune de Genève there needs to be a “Geneva Spring,” with workers, the public and politicians rallying behind the cause.
Merck announced 1,250 jobs in Geneva would go as it moves its headquarters to Germany.
More than half of those employees will be offered positions abroad.