Bayer HealthCare, Berkeley’s 2nd-largest employer, lays off 227 employees

Samuel Albillo/Staff

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Bayer HealthCare, Berkeley’s second-largest employer, announced Oct. 3 that it is laying off 227 employees in an effort to reorganize and streamline the manufacturing of its products.

The employees affected were in areas such as manufacturing, quality, supply chain, warehouse and engineering, according to Berkeleyside. Employees are expected to receive pay and benefits through Dec. 3 — their official separation date — in addition to later severance benefits.

R&D Communications associate manager Norah Davis said in an email that Bayer HealthCare notified employees about the layoffs Oct. 3, initiating a nonworking 60-day notification process for the employees whose positions are affected.

“We have the utmost appreciation for the employees affected by this reorganization and will ensure that we manage their transition in the most respectful and thoughtful manner that we can,” Bayer HealthCare said in an emailed statement.

For 40 years, Berkeley has acted as a manufacturing hub for the company’s biotechnology sector, according to Berkeleyside. In 1974, the corporation bought out Cutter Laboratories, a plasma producer, to acquire land in the area. From that point on, the sector has owned 45 acres of land in Berkeley, and it remains to this day the sole unionized manufacturing site in the United States under the umbrella of biotechnology, according to Berkeleyside.

Bayer HealthCare is known for its medicinal inventions, such as Aspirin. Their Berkeley site is responsible for producing all three of Bayer’s hemophilia therapies.

Bayer HealthCare said in a statement that, in terms of production, the Berkeley location will be unaffected by the layoffs — all three drugs will still be produced there.

“Bayer’s longstanding commitment to the hemophilia community drives our continued investment in discovering and developing innovative therapies for patients living with this life-long disorder,” Bayer HealthCare said in a statement. “This decision will not impact product availability as we remain committed to providing a portfolio of treatment options to serve the individual needs of the hemophilia community.”

Contact Alexa VanHooser at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @dailycalexaC.