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Sun 29 Apr 2007 09:53 AM

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France hit hard in Airbus cuts

Airbus details 10,000 Europe-wide job losses under Power8 restructuring plan

European planemaker Airbus has set out details of job reductions under its Power8 restructuring plan, including 4100 job cuts in France, French newspaper Le Monde reported on Saturday.

The restructuring calls for 10,000 Europe-wide job cuts and six full or partial factory sales by 2010. The job losses are to be split between Airbus and suppliers. Airbus told employees in a works council meeting on Friday that 2305 posts would vanish at Airbus France production sites at Toulouse, southwestern France, and 964 jobs would disappear at the company's headquarters, also in Toulouse, Le Monde reported. Due to the presence of the headquarters, the French city is the most affected by the restructuring, caused by a weak dollar and delays to the A380 superjumbo. Hamburg in Germany will lose the biggest number of production jobs, with 2317 posts affected, the report said.

Elsewhere, 369 jobs will be cut in Saint-Nazaire and 295 at Nantes, both in western France, and 192 at Meaulte in the north. In Britain, 1095 jobs are to going Filton while 334 jobs are reported to be axed at Getafe in Spain. Airbus was not available for comment.

Workers in France staged wildcat strikes last week over annual profit-sharing payments of less than €5 each for 2006, which union officials contrasted with an €8.5 million pay-off for sacked former Airbus chief Noel Forgeard. Parent company EADS faces internal disagreements over whether to agree a dividend at its annual shareholder meeting on 4 May, with opposition to the move likely to make waves on the last day of campaigning in the France's presidential election.

Both remaining candidates in France’s presidential election oppose a payout to investors at a time when thousands of Airbus workers are losing their jobs.

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