Airbus announced on Tuesday the removal of about 15 000 jobs, or 11 percent of its workforce, and does not rule out compulsory redundancies to cope with the “unprecedented crisis” suffered by the airline industry struck down by the Covid-19, a plan immediately deemed “excessive” by the French government.
About 5 of 100 posts will be deleted in Germany, 5 000 in France, 1 in 700 in the United Kingdom, 900 in Spain and 1,300 on other sites of the group in the world, said on Tuesday evening the european company in a press release.
The group to 135 000 employees had the end of 2019 49 000 employees in France, 45 500 in Germany, 12 500 in Spain and 11 000 in the United Kingdom.
“We must face the reality that 40 % of our activity in the commercial aircraft sector has disappeared, and that he will most likely need a lot of time to go back, we must therefore take decisive action now,” explained the chief executive officer of Airbus, Guillaume Faury, during a conference call.
If the aircraft manufacturer does not exclude layoffs, it relies on voluntary departures, measures of early retirement and part-time unemployment measures to the limit.
“Departures, forced that will take place should ultimately be much more limited than the figures announced today “, added the leader.
Part-time unemployment measures of long-term in France and Germany, according to their ” specific terms “, could allow to preserve ” up to 1,000 jobs in France, and 1,500 in Germany, then said Mr. Faury to the AFP.
The magnitude of the plan was immediately deplored by the French ministry of the Economy.
“The aerospace sector is facing a shock, massive, brutal, and sustainable. It is likely that the recovery will be gradual. We have never hidden it, ” he responded, recalling the plan of 15 billion euros, adopted by France in support to the aviation sector.
“However, the number of job cuts announced by Airbus is excessive “, he denounced, by asking to ” reduce to the maximum the departures forced “.
Guillaume Faury has conceded that the plan was “unprecedented” in the history of the airframe manufacturer and not to expect “a lot of support in this type of situation even if we are working closely” with the governments concerned.
This is “never before seen” at Airbus, told the AFP Frederic Roman, coordinator of the CFTC in the group, and opposed to, like other trade unions to any forced departure.
“For FO the red line is to reduce this figure, which appears to us excessive, and put in place all measures possible to not have to deplore the least forced redundancies,” responded Dominique Delbouis, coordinator FO the group.
The british trade union Unite, for its part, denounced the plan as ” an act of vandalism and industrial, and a terrible insult to (the)incredible uk workforce “.
The job cuts announced Tuesday exclusively affecting the industry commercial aviation group — also present in the defence, space and helicopters — as well as the French subsidiary Stelia Aerospace and the German Premium Aerotec.
These 15 000 positions being eliminated are in addition to the 900 jobs that would already eliminate Premium Aerotec as a result of “a need for adaptation identified before the crisis Covid-19” and 2 665 job cuts announced in the beginning of the year in the branch, Defense and Space, faces a difficult market.
For France, the plan will be detailed during a committee group Airbus France Thursday morning at Blagnac airport, the headquarters of the aircraft manufacturer in the suburbs of Toulouse, according to several union sources. According to the CFE-CGC, 3 488 deletions of posts are provided in the branch aircraft and 1.464 at Stelia Aerospace.
The great rival, the american Boeing, was announced in late April its intention to eliminate 10 % of its workforce, or 16,000 people, through voluntary departures and layoffs.
Behind Airbus, it is thousands of providers, for the most part small and medium-sized enterprises, which are affected. The equipment manufacturer Daher has already announced the abolition of a maximum of 1,300 positions over the 10, 000 from the group.
The challenge for the company, as to all of its sub-contractors, is to overcome the crisis without losing the skills of a workforce that is very qualified to be able to bounce back once the market picks up. “We are in survival mode, all together “, summarized Mr. Faury.