CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Dozens of labor and advocacy groups on Wednesday called on President Joe Biden to save nearly 1,500 jobs at a pharmaceutical plant in West Virginia slated to close at the end of July.
Drugmaker Viatris Inc. announced in December it will lay off workers at the Morgantown plant, formerly operated by the generic drug company Mylan. Upjohn and Mylan’s merged last year to form the new company, which announced it would slash 20% of its workforce worldwide. Viatris is now one of the world’s dominant manufacturers in the generics industry, which has been consolidating for years.
The moves left workers scrambling to find new jobs as the major employer left West Virginia, which is often trying to lure new companies to uplift the state’s stagnant economy.
A new campaign led by Our Revolution, a political nonprofit organization founded by Bernie Sanders, urges Biden to use the Defense Production Act to halt the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Viatris from closing the plant. It also asks Biden to convene a task force of labor groups, local leaders and others to determine how the plant might continue producing pharmaceutical or medical goods.