Airbus announces job cuts of 10,000

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Airbus, Europe's biggest aircraft manufacturer, has announced 10,000 job cuts over the next four years. The news comes as its parent company, EADS starts a major restructuring programme because the company is not efficient enough.

Louis Gallois, the Airbus chief executive, said the company expects to cut approximately 4,300 jobs in France, 3,700 in Germany, 1,600 in UK and 400 in Spain. About half of those cuts will be made among subcontractors and temporary workers. Actual Airbus employee reduction would be about 5,000, or 9% of the total European work force of 55,000 full-time Airbus employees.

Although Gallois said he hoped to achieve this mainly through attrition, the unions were displeased. Union officials said nearly 14,000 employees at four French sites had a two hour work stoppage Wednesday afternoon to protest the cuts.

"The response has been massive," said Julien Talavan, a spokesman for Force Ouvrière, the main Airbus union in France. "This is just the beginning," he said, hinting at future labor action.

This move comes after well-publicized delays on its A380 super-jumbo commercial airliner. The restructuring announcement also includes the proposed sale or closure of 3 plants.