Posted: Tue 30th Jun 2020

Airbus announcement on ‘thousands’ of job cuts imminent according to media reports

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2020

An announcement by Airbus on job cuts involving “thousands” of workers is imminent, according to media reports.

Such a move would see hundreds of workers at Broughton affected as the planemaker deals with the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

Citing “industry sources,” Reuters News Agency said job loss predictions were between 14,000 and 20,000 workers, “though it remains unclear how much will be achieved through early retirements in Airbus’s 135,000-strong workforce.” The report states. 

“Airbus will announce measures that could have strong employment consequences,” Xavier Petrachi, an official from French union CGT said, adding the union would oppose outright redundancies. Reuters reports.

In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt on Monday, Airbus’s chief executive Guillaume Faury stated that production output would be reduced by 40 per cent over the next two year.

During today’s daily briefing, health minister Vaughan Gething was asked if the Welsh government was prepared for a ‘worst case scenario’ at Airbus Broughton, he said:

“On Airbus, but more generally about the economy, we’ve been very clear that the furlough scheme the UK government introduced was very welcome.

We’ve also been clear there’s a potential to withdraw some of that support will accelerate lots of businesses and their choices about whether they can maintain all of their workforce.

There are additional challenges in different sectors of the economy.

I do think it’d be helpful for the UK government to give a clearer signal about the future of a range of our industries and again, it’s a consistent message for Welsh ministers to reconsider how support in the furlough scheme is being managed and withdrawn.

I do think that it will accelerate a wave of job losses, if that decision isn’t revisited.”

Earlier this month Guillaume Faury suggested the Airbus workforce in Britain is more vulnerable to cutbacks than French and German counterparts because the UK furloughing scheme is set to be downgraded shortly.

He said he “regretted” the UK decision to end the scheme, under which the state pays 80 per cent of laid-off workers’ pay up to £2,500 a month, in October.

In France and Germany job subsidy schemes are set to last for up to two years.

Around half the workforce at Broughton have been furloughed over a phased period. 

In France and Germany job subsidy schemes are set to last for up to two years.

Furlough schemes were “ways of damping the workforce reduction and retaining skills”, Mr Faury told the Financial Times. “If we don’t have that system in the UK, we have to look for more permanent solutions when we could have avoided those . . . for part of the workforce,” he said.

500 highly skilled contract workers employed at Airbus by Guidant Global – many of them have been working at Broughton for years – have already been told they face redundancy.

A spokesman for Airbus Broughton said: “We do not comment on speculation related to internal meetings.”

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