BERLIN (Reuters) – Airbus will make no forced redundancies in France, Germany and Britain, the European planemaker said on Thursday, as it reached an agreement with a German trade union to protect jobs until the end of 2023.
A spokesman for Airbus, which has been hit hard by slumping demand for aircraft in the coronavirus crisis, said other measures – such as voluntary redundancy programmes, early retirement or internal transfers – had been agreed instead.
Negotiations started later in Spain, the spokesman said.
Airbus has been struggling to reach targets to cut staff as part of a restructuring plan affecting up to 15,000 jobs, especially at its headquarters in France and in German plants, sources had earlier told Reuters.
The IG Metall union and works council representing Airbus workers in Germany said they had agreed with the aircraft manufacturer on an overall package to safeguard employment and sites in the country until the end of 2023.
About 1,300 employees at Airbus Germany and 1,000 at Premium Aerotec, a subsidiary that makes large plane components, took voluntary redundancy between November and February, Holger Junge, head of the group works council, told a news conference.
“Production figures have stabilised,” Junge said. “But we have not overcome the crisis.”
Airbus agreed to avoid further job cuts through short-time work and reducing hours by up to 20% from 2022, he said. Airbus employs about 55,000 people in Germany.
In January, Airbus stuck to ambitions for a partial recovery in jet production later this year, although there is speculation that it may have to delay that due to extended coronavirus lockdowns in Europe.
(Reporting by Christina Amann and Alexander Huebner, writing by Emma Thomasson, editing by Thomas Escritt)