State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Brooklyn) today learned that Pfizer, a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, is planning to close the doors to a longstanding Brooklyn manufacturing facility. Plans call for the relocation of 90 positions in 2007 and the phase out of all remaining positions in 2007 and into 2008.
"This is a major blow to the Brooklyn community. Pfizer’s facility has provided 600 jobs for the residents of this community. It is very disappointing to see them closing their operations here in Brooklyn where in 1849 Charles Pfizer began to manufacture and sell fine chemicals from a plant in Williamsburg," Senator Dilan said.
According to a letter from a Pfizer representative, Pfizer has "…determined there is no longer a viable role for the Brooklyn plant in [their] future operations." The letter goes on to say that since 2003, Pfizer has closed nearly four-dozen plants across the globe. Pfizer claims that in order to realize future success in a rapidly changing industry, they must take drastic steps to ensure their viability. Unfortunately, this means closing plants and eliminating jobs.
While this is mostly bad news, there is a faint light at the end of the tunnel. Pfizer says they "…will provide as much support to [our Brooklyn colleagues] as possible during their transition to new jobs, including re-training, severance, career placement assistance and other benefits." The company has also said they plan to work with community leaders and government officials to find a suitable use for the plant site and surrounding real estate. Pfizer envisions the development of residential and retail spaces that include a commitment to affordable housing. Also, the Beginning with Children Public School will remain open and remain at its current location and the original Pfizer factory in Williamsburg will be fully restored.
"It is disheartening to see Pfizer closing its doors in Brooklyn. While I am pleased they are continuing their commitment to the community, it is still very painful to have to watch them eliminate all of these good jobs from Williamsburg," Senator Dilan said.