This week, the pharmaceutical giant Merck announced it will cut 8,500 jobs in an effort to remain competitive in a rapidly changing drug industry. Earlier this year, Merck announced plans to cut 7,500 jobs, bringing the total of workers let go to 16,000. In all, Merck intends to lay off one out of every five of its employees.
At the same time, top Merck officials are urging Congress to loosen the nation’s immigration laws to allow more foreign workers into the United States. In a Sept. 10 letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Merck Executive Vice President for Human Resources Mirian Graddick-Weir urged that the U.S. admit more high- and low-skilled immigrants to “address the reality that there is a global war for talent” and to “align our nation’s immigration policies with its workforce needs at all skill levels to ensure U.S. global competitiveness.