CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY)- Gov. Justice issued the following statement today after participating in a phone call with the Viatris management team. This comes after Viatris announced this morning that they plan to close their Morgantown manufacturing facility by July 31, 2021, cutting 1,500 jobs.
“I’d like to offer my thanks to the Viatris management team for getting on the phone with me today. On the call, the very first thing I did was express my disappointment that we didn’t know about their plans to close the Morgantown manufacturing facility. We were given no notice that there was even a problem, and nobody came to me to say ‘This is what we need to keep going.’
“From there, I offered to do anything and everything possible from the State’s perspective to change their decision and save these jobs. I asked if there was anything the state could do, but the management team told me that there was nothing we could do for them to reverse course.
“I also asked whether there was anything I could do with the federal government, along the lines of federal emergency powers, to prevent this. The management team told me they tried to explore this option themselves, but that they were unsuccessful.
“With these options exhausted, the Viatris team committed to working with us to find a new operator for the facility to preserve as many of these jobs as possible. As a business guy, I know this is not a commitment to be taken lightly. This task will take a lot of work. So I asked them, specifically, whether they really plan to honor their commitment, and they told me that I had their word that they would do all they could.
“In the meantime, I will commit all the manpower and resources we have to preserve these jobs. They mean so much to the community of Morgantown and our state as a whole. Cathy and I send our prayers to the families affected by this decision today and remain hopeful for a solution in the next seven months.”