EADS Has Duty to Avoid Layoffs Says France

EADS Has 'Duty' to Avoid Layoffs Says France

"This company makes money. It's a big company, it has many divisions. If it wants to restructure, that's fine. It is its duty to adapt to the situation," said French Labour Minister Michel Sapin. 

PARIS -- Hours after EADS (IW 1000/59) had said it would shed 5,800 posts, French Labour Minister Michel Sapin said the company has a duty to avoid job cuts.

"Its duty is to put in place measures to avoid all layoffs and in France, it will not be accepted, because it is not acceptable for a company like EADS to cut jobs globally," the minister told Europe 1 radio.

"This company makes money. It's a big company, it has many divisions. If it wants to restructure, that's fine. It is its duty to adapt to the situation.

"But it is also its duty... to put in place all measures to avoid layoffs," he said.

EADS, which makes Airbus planes but also has many other aerospace activities, announced late on Monday that 5,800 jobs in its defence and space division would go in the next three years. About 2,470 affected posts are in the space division while the remaining 2,830 are in defence.

The cuts are part of a restructuring programme undertaken by the company to cope with falling orders, and will affect its workforce in Germany, France, Spain and Britain.

They come about year after a planned merger between EADS and British defence giant BAE Systems fell through on opposition from Germany, which feared that a restructuring following a tie-up would cost jobs, notably in defence activities in Germany.

The defense activities of EADS are under pressure in large part because of cuts in European defence budgets, including in Germany.

Laid-off employees will be offered redeployment in 1,500 jobs at the company's Airbus and Eurocopter divisions.

About 1,300 short-term contracts will not be renewed, and with voluntary measures, the company estimated final redundancies to come in at between 1,000 and 1,450 employees.

The French, German and Spanish governments are stakeholders in EADS, which was formed in 2000 through a merger of leading aerospace companies in the three European countries. It employs about 140,000 people worldwide.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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