Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fly in a plane built by this company?

It's a race to the bottom in Europe to see which country's workers are the more revolting:

Nearly 90 percent of Airbus workers in France staged a one-hour work stoppage Tuesday to voice concerns over a restructuring plan that could lead to job cuts at the aircraft manufacturer, trade unions and management said.

"The stoppage was heavily followed by almost 90 percent of the workers, 17,000-18,000 of the 21,000" employed by Airbus in France, said Jean-Francois Knepper of the FO trade union and deputy head of the company's European workers' council.

Airbus management confirmed the figures, saying participation had been "very high."

Not to be outdone:

Airbus management has pledged to implement a cost-cutting program called Power 8 that is expected to include job losses, increased sub-contracting and an overhaul of many factories.

German Airbus employees last Friday staged demonstrations at plants all over Germany last Friday in protest against the restructuring scheme.

Management, which also faces political pressure to preserve jobs, has said the cost-cutting plan is essential for the development of new aircraft, notably the mid-size, longhaul A350 model.

Airbus announced last month that it would likely report an operating loss for 2006, capping a torrid 12 months for the Toulouse-based group.

Last year was one of drama for the manufacturer, marked by production problems and delivery delays to the A380 program, a string of poor financial results, abrupt management changes and the resurgence of chief rival Boeing.

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