10/17/2011 05:33 EDT | Updated 12/17/2011 05:12 EST

GlaxoSmithKline is cutting about 60 jobs in Quebec, says the union

MONTREAL - Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is cutting about 60 jobs in Quebec City, the Canadian Union of Public Employees said Monday.

The company wouldn't consider alternatives that would minimize job losses while still meeting its financial objectives, local union president Dominic Morin said in a news release.

GSK employs some 700 people in Quebec City.

Officials of the British-based company, the largest supplier of influenza vaccines in Canada, couldn't be reached to confirm details about the layoffs.

Glaxo invested $199 million in 2007 to expand its vaccine production plant and announced plans in 2009 to spend a further $90 million, largely with public funds. But that project hasn't been completed, the union said.

In June, the company announced that Ontario government support allowed it to create 70 new jobs and protect 300 positions at its facility in Mississauga. The company employs some 1,150 workers in Ontario and 2,700 in Canada.

CUPE is the largest union in Canada with 610,000 members, more than 110 000 of them in Quebec.