EADS looks to keep French workers working

19th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 18, 2006 (AFP) - The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company has agreed to modify the timeframe of a plant closure in south-western France and search for ways to maintain employment in the region, the group said Thursday.

PARIS, May 18, 2006 (AFP) - The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company has agreed to modify the timeframe of a plant closure in south-western France and search for ways to maintain employment in the region, the group said Thursday.

"We have decided along with public partners to restrain the rhythm of our procedure to provide time to define with all local interests future industrial projects in the Aquitaine basin," an EADS source said.

Earlier in the day, French Industry Minister François Loos said that EADS chief executive Noël Forgeard had agreed to delay the group's plan to close one of its maintenance unit Sogerma's sites, following government pressure.

Forgeard would "start negotiations and take his time", Loos told parliament.

Employment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo also revealed that he had met with Forgeard and asked him to suspend the plan.

Up to 1,000 workers are employed at the plant and EADS had already said it expected to be able to offer 500 alternative jobs.

According to a statement from the employment ministry, Forgeard "pledged" there will be no compulsory redundancies and agreed to draw up a plan concerning "the prospects for activities at the plant" in cooperation with local and national authorities.

It said Borloo asked for an urgent study on how EADS could continue operations at the site, located at the airport in Merignac, near Bordeaux.

The closure has been denounced by trade unions and on Monday about 200 employees occupied a runway at the airport.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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