Dec 10 - Airbus' parent EADS has risked a collision with unions and European politicians by unveiling plans to cut 5,800 jobs that for a first time include significant forced redundancies. Hayley Platt reports on the repercussions of the shock announcement.
Staff at this Cassidian plant in Bavaria are coming to terms with a prospect they never thought they'd face - compulsory redundancy. It was unheard of at EADS - it's parent company - until now. The European aerospace group is cutting 5,800 jobs and around a quarter will be forced losses. Few expected that to be the consequence when EADS's Chief Executive vowed to run a "normal" company after restructuring earlier this year. Ruediger Luetjen is Chairman of the EADS works council. SOUNDBITE: Ruediger Luetjen, Chairman of the EADS works council, saying (German): "We think that redundancies related to projects are unattractive and unbearable from a personal point of view. You have to imagine what it would be like as an employee if a project is supposed to last for three years, should you have to work with the threat of redundancy hanging over you? How would that end?" EADS was created as a European powerhouse to match U.S. competitor Boeing. But as its commercial jet business grew, it's defence unit suffered. The company has shaken up its German and French state holdings and now plans to merge its defence and space divisions. And that means 'substantial consolidation' of sites in Germany, France, Spain and the UK. EADS says it needs to cut costs over the next three years to remain competitive. It's also selling its former headquarters in Paris and changing its name. From next year it will be known simply as Airbus.