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 brought 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 activity in commercial aviation has dropped from nearly 40 % in recent months, he says.

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“Although measures enforced cannot be excluded at this stage, Airbus will work with its social partners to limit the impact of this plan based on all of the social measures available, including voluntary departures, the measures of early retirement, as well as the part-time unemployment long-term,” said Airbus intends to conclude in 2020 the discussions with the trade unions.

“The aerospace sector is facing a shock, massive, brutal, and sustainable. It is likely that the recovery will be gradual. We have never hidden,” responded the French ministry of the Economy. “We have anticipated with the implementation of a plan of 15 billion euros to support the sector. However, the number of job cuts announced by Airbus is excessive”, he regretted asking to “reduce to the maximum the departures forced”.

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The trade unions at Airbus have stated their opposition to any “forced redundancies”, and called for negotiations in the face of a crisis, considered “cyclical”. “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, Airbus, at a press briefing in front of the headquarters of the aircraft manufacturer.

Airbus, which has lowered in April by more than a third of its production rates to cope with an air transport market that collapsed and is “facing the most serious crisis that this sector has ever known,” explained the executive president of the group, Guillaume Faury. “Now we must take steps of greater magnitude,” he continued. Asked during a conference call with reporters about the reaction of the executive, French, Guillaume Faury has conceded not to expect “a lot of support in this type of situation even if we are working closely” with the governments concerned.

Plan for France detailed Thursday

These deletions of posts should almost exclusively affect the branch’s commercial aviation group – also present in the defence, space and helicopters – as well as several subsidiaries such as the French-Stelia Aerospace, or even the German Premium Aerotec. For France, the plan should be detailed in a committee of group Airbus France Thursday morning at Blagnac airport, the headquarters of the aircraft manufacturer in the suburbs of Toulouse, according to a source association.

For several weeks, and Guillaume Faury, chief executive officer of a group with 135 000 employees, of which 81000 in its branch of commercial aircraft, warns that the crisis caused by the epidemic due to the coronavirus involves the “survival of Airbus”.

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“The measures taken so far by the company have allowed us to absorb the initial shock of this pandemic. We now need to ensure the sustainability of the company and guarantee our ability to emerge from the crisis, the global leader in the aerospace sector, while adapting to the immense challenges facing our customers,” he said Tuesday.

The group, Airbus employs 49 000 employees in France, 45 500 in Germany, 12 500 in Spain and 11 000 in the United Kingdom. The branch, Defense and Space Airbus is facing a challenging market, has already announced in February a restructuring plan providing for 2 665 deletions of positions. 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.