Thursday, March 01, 2007

What a revoltin' development this is

Let the recriminations begin over Airbus:

Workers at Airbus revolted on Thursday against massive cutbacks, planning a strike next week in a warning to the company that its recovery strategy is in for a long, tough haul.

In France, Germany and Spain, unions reacted with anger and bitterness to rescue measures involving the loss of 10,000 jobs and streamlining of factories.

Three french unions called for a half-day strike at the company's French factories on Tuesday and urged other Airbus unions to join in.

In Germany, staff at two factories stopped work for the second day, and the state premier in Lower Saxony Christian Wulff gave his support, declaring: "We reject Airbus' plans to abandon its plants".

.... Airbus, created in 1970 as a European industrial initiative to compete with Boeing in the strategically important airline sector, was long held up as an example of European cooperation and vision.

But by the 1990s, weaknesses in the structure of the company had become apparent and a compromise reorganisation was agreed, with difficulty. The crisis of the last six months has again raised deep questions about the role of the state in industry, and the place for national interests in a European single market.

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