VARIOUS: European leaders and workers react after Airbus announce 10,000 jobs will be cut
- Title: VARIOUS: European leaders and workers react after Airbus announce 10,000 jobs will be cut
- Date: 1st March 2007
- Summary: (EU) BERLIN, GERMANY (FEBRUARY 28, 2007) (REUTERS) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL WALKING TO MICROPHONES DURING UNRELATED EVENT REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (German) ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR, SAYING: "I believe we succeeded politically in achieving a balance of risks and opportunities. This is what I worked towards with the French president (Jacques Chirac) and I think after an initial look at the company's decision it's possible to say that this goal was achieved." MERKEL WALKING OFF
- Reuters ID: LVA2GIY2TKCXLRKCL60A1R1EFKXT
- Duration: 00:00:26
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- Topics: Employment,Transport
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- Story Text: Airbus Chief Executive Louis Gallois gave a stark vision of a Franco-German company needing to find billions of euros in savings and end nationalist infighting he deemed "poison".
"First we have to reduce our cost. A large part will come from reduction of overhead staff. Because of that our target is to reduce 10,000 overhead staff," he said of a firm whose push for reforms dominated a recent Franco-German summit.
Gallois told reporters Airbus will cut 5,000 staff and 5,000 workers contracted from other firms over the next four years.
Some 4,300 jobs in France, 3,700 in Germany, 1,600 in Britain and 400 in Spain are expected to go. Shedding 5,000 of its staff would cut the Airbus workforce of 55,000 by 9 percent.
This does not include some 3,000 staff at sites due to be sold at St. Nazaire in France and Varel and Laupheim in Germany.
There were protests at Airbus factories in France at Meaulte and St. Nazaire and unions warned of wider walkouts. Several hundred assembly workers also downed tools at the Toulouse headquarters.
German Airbus workers expressed a mixture of disbelief and fear as they left the Varel plant, where they walked off the job along with workers at Laupheim.
Shares in parent firm EADS closed up 1.8 percent as investors welcomed the plans to cut 2.1 billion euros in annual operating cost from 2010 and a further 5 billion cash.
The shake-up comes after a two-year delay in delivering the A380 superjumbo put a 5-billion-euro ($6.61 billion) hole in expected earnings at EADS. It also needs to speed up work on the A350, which is already lagging rival Boeing's development of its 787 model by five years.
Power8, as the restructuring is known, was first mooted in October and sparked a split between France and Germany over the distribution of job losses, and the placement of future ones.
Paul Everitt of the Society of British Aerospace Companies said the Airbus move was inevitable.
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- Embargoed:16th March 2007 12:00