Merck Serono staffers mull strike as budget ax hovers over Geneva HQ

A desperate scramble among hundreds of Merck Serono employees to evade the budget ax is bringing the threat of a strike back to the forefront this evening.

Just days ago the workers at Serono's Geneva headquarters presented a series of alternatives to the company plans to fire hundreds of workers and relocate hundreds more, shutting down the sprawling R&D hub. Workers have offered to take deep pay cuts with increased productivity goals, suggested creating a smaller R&D center in Geneva to work under Merck KGaA executives in Darmstadt, and urged the German pharma giant to triple the amount of money it was prepared to spend to back spinout companies.

World Radio Switzerland says that after hundreds of workers joined a protest march yesterday, staffers were planning to regroup this evening to decide on a possible strike tomorrow. So far, though, Merck KGaA has shown no signs of backing off plans to shutter the facility, which it acquired in the 2006 Serono buyout.

- here's the story from World Radio Switzerland