Schumer: Valeant CEO promises no more planned cuts in Rochester

Posted at: 08/15/2013 1:38 PM | Updated at: 08/15/2013 6:52 PM
By: Berkeley Brean |

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It appears as if the worst is over for the hundreds and hundreds of people still working at Bausch and Lomb in Rochester.

The CEO made those promises in a phone conversation with Senator Chuck Schumer. The senator put the promises down in writing and sent them to News10NBC.

Schumer says the CEO of Valeant promised him there are no plans for more job cuts, beyond the one they already made. There are no plans to cut research and development beyond the cuts already made. In fact, Schumer says the Valeant CEO promised 25 to 50 new research and development jobs by moving some work from California to Rochester. He also said there are no plans for cuts to manufacturing.

Valeant bought B&L last week and immediately laid off somewhere between 400 and 500 employees. Half are already gone and half will leave sometime around November. That could be seen as good news when you consider that Greater Rochester Enterprise, an economic development agency, was preparing to handle more than a thousand layoffs in one day. Valeant did move B&L's headquarters to New Jersey where Valeant does most of its work.

On the phone late Thursday, News10NBC asked Senator Schumer how did he get the CEO to make these promises?

Sen. Charles Schumer said, “I asked him point blank, 'Do you have any plans to cut any further jobs?' And he said, 'no'.”

News10NBC's Berkeley Brean said, “But how do you get him to make those promises?”

Schumer said, “Well look, I think that Valeant doesn't want, I mean, they don't have a great reputation. Bausch is the biggest new enterprise they bought and I made the argument that they can turn over a new leaf here and at least we're able to save those thousand jobs.”

There's another promise. There is a new contact lens that was developed here in Rochester. The code name inside the plant is Zeus. The plan all along has been to manufacture it in Ireland. But in the letter released by Schumer, Valeant's CEO promised to re-evaluate that and give Rochester a fair chance to win the bid to make Zeus. Insiders tell News10NBC if Zeus is manufactured in Rochester that will be the most important promise of all because they say Zeus is so good, it will dominate the industry.


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