September 12, 2012 / 12:10 PM / in 5 years

Sanofi to outline research shakeup shortly - union

* French research shakeup plans expected late Sept, early Oct

* Company-wide strike called ahead of meetings

PARIS, Sept 12 (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi SA is expected to outline its plans to restructure its research operations in France at two meetings with employee representatives in late September and early October, a union source told Reuters on Wednesday.

The two meetings are due to take place on Sept. 25 and Oct. 3, the source said.

France is the latest country where Sanofi aims to reshuffle its research activities and cut jobs, as it responds to patent expiries and healthcare spending cuts.

Although the company has not provided details on job losses, unions have estimated that up to 2,500 research and support jobs could go in France, where Sanofi employs 28,000 staff at sites including Toulouse and Montpelier in the south of the country.

Trade unions are calling for a company-wide strike on Thursday ahead of the two meetings to protest against the restructuring.

A spokesman for Sanofi said the company would present its plans to the works council at the end of September, but added that no meeting dates had been set.

“The project about the strategic review of our French operations will be presented at the end of September,” he said. “To date no meetings concerning this review have been set with employee representatives.”

Sanofi pledged in September to increase earnings by more than 5 percent annually and trim costs by 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) by 2015, as it branches out into growth areas like vaccines and animal health to make up for declining sales of top drugs. ($1 = 0.7785 euros) (Reporting by Noelle Mennella; Writing by Elena Berton; Editing by David Holmes)

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