Airbus workers plan work stoppage

5th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

TOULOUSE, France, Feb 5, 2007 (AFP) - Airbus trade unions on Monday decided to call on all French employees of the European aircraft maker to respect a one-hour work stoppage on Tuesday to protest restructuring plans for the group, a trade union source told AFP.


TOULOUSE, France, Feb 5, 2007 (AFP) - Airbus trade unions on Monday decided to call on all French employees of the European aircraft maker to respect a one-hour work stoppage on Tuesday to protest restructuring plans for the group, a trade union source told AFP.

The initiative, decided on during a trade union committee meeting here, was designed to coincide with a board meeting of Airbus parent company EADS in Paris on Tuesday.

Demonstrations during the stoppage, planned for 0930-1030 GMT, are to be organised in front of French Airbus manufacturing plants.

Airbus management has pledged to implement a cost-cutting programme called Power 8, which has not yet been made public but is expected to include job losses, increased sub-contracting and an overhaul of many factories.

The planned one-hour stoppage adds to mounting action from French and German trade unions.

Airbus employs about 55,000 people, with just under half in France.

In France, union representatives have written to French President Jacques Chirac imploring him to intervene and have organised demonstrations in front of regional and local administrative offices in France.

German Airbus employees had staged demonstrations at plants all around the country on Friday in protest against restructuring plans.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the powerful German union IG Metall and the German works council, a body representing employees, had threatened to hold up delivieries of planes as a warning shot to management.

The management of Airbus, which also faces political pressure to preserve jobs, has said the cost-cutting plan is essential for the development of new aircraft, notably the mid-range, longhaul A350 model.

Airbus announced last month that it would likely report an operating loss for 2006, capping a torrid 12 months for the Toulouse-based group.

Last year was one of drama for Airbus marked by production problems with its superjumbo A380 plane, a string of poor financial results, abrupt management changes and the resurgence of chief rival Boeing.

On Sunday, German Economy Minister Michael Glos said the German government would review its defence contracts with EADS if the restructuring of Airbus severely harmed German interests.

"We insist that Germany must remain a high technology site for Airbus and particularly as far as fuselage in concerned," Glos told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"If this is not the case, then Germany will have to review its defence contracts with the parent company Airbus," he added.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Airbus

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