Roche Graz staff face the axe

Hundreds of jobs in Austria are at risk as Swiss healthcare company F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. (Roche) plans to drastically reduce its costs.The internationally operating company said today (Weds) it planned to reduce its global staff figure by 4,800 or six per cent, adding that its target was to spend 1.8 billion Euros less a year.An overall 6,300 staff may be affected by the austerity measures as Roche, which was founded in 1896, is considering relocating hundreds of staff to third firms it has been cooperating with.Roche announced it will shut its Roche Diagnostics Centre in Graz in the Austrian province of Styria within the next three years. Around 400 people are currently employed at the facility.The Styrian branch of the Austrian Labour Chamber (AK) criticised Roche¬ís “insensitivity”. Left-wingers in the AK claimed maximising profits was all that mattered for the company.