Airbus protests
Jean-philippe Arles  /  Reuters
French and German Airbus workers demonstrate in front of the European plane maker’s headquarters near Toulouse, France, against 10,000 planned jobs cuts.
updated 3/16/2007 9:47:22 AM ET 2007-03-16T13:47:22

Airbus workers downed tools and gathered for protest marches on Friday to fight 10,000 planned job cuts at the European civilian plane maker and its contractors.

Airbus and its parent firm EADS have announced the job cuts and the full or partial sale of six production sites after wiring problems caused delivery delays to the A380 superjumbo and unhinged the group’s finances.

Airbus aims to adapt to a lower dollar and boost the market chances of the new A350 plane.

At Toulouse in southwest France, a two-hour stoppage began at 0830 GMT at one of Airbus’ two assembly lines and workers were gathering in front of the administrative headquarters of the group at Blagnac.

Jean-Francois Knepper, union delegate for Force Ouvriere, said some 2,000 people were present and he expected the number to rise to 4,000.

“The mobilization continues, even if it is less visible than the other day in the streets of Toulouse,” he said, referring to May 6 when 10,000 to 12,000 workers of Airbus and its suppliers participated in a protest.

“The goal of management is to follow the example of Boeing by outsourcing as much as possible. We say ’No’ and again ’No’. And if they do not listen to us, we will resort to harsher measures. Why not block the assembly lines?,” he said.

Of the 10,000 planned job cuts, 4,300 will take place in France, 3,700 in Germany, 1,600 in Britain and 400 in Spain.

The sites of Meaulte in France, Nordenhalm in Germany and Filton in Britain will be opened to industrial partners while those of Saint-Nazaire in France, Laupheim and Varel in Germany will be sold to suppliers.

A source of tension between France and Germany since its announcement, the Power 8 restructuring program has also become a topic in the French presidential elections with various candidates visiting Airbus plants.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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