The fear of the employees of Aribus was well founded: the management announced to its employees that it would remove 1,164 jobs in Europe. Moreover, the Suresnes site, in the Paris region, will be cut off from any research activity. This plan of restructuring is accompanied by the creation of 230 jobs, announced the unions, confirmed by the management. She promises to do everything to avoid dry layoffs. The Suresnes site in the Paris region will be closed, according to the unions.
“The social impact of the Gemini plan represents 1,164 positions,” said Thierry Baril, Group Human Resources Director. In addition to this figure, “a certain number of geographical transfers will be carried out, mainly towards Toulouse”, he said, amounting to 325. These transfers will mainly be made at the sites of Suresnes (Hauts-de-Seine) And Ottobrunn, near Munich, towards Toulouse. But “everything will be implemented to find solutions adapted and based on voluntary work,” Baril said. “If, in early 2018, we were to find that these measures are not sufficient, we would be forced to consider forced economic redundancies,” he acknowledged.
What about Suresnes?
The plan of restructuring is thus in a context of exacerbated competition with the American rival Boeing and the arrival on the market of Chinese aircraft manufacturers. Airbus relativizes the 1,164 jobs to be abolished with a workforce that reaches 136,600 people worldwide and 54,000 in France. Negotiations on social treatment must be held until next summer, says Airbus, which says it no longer plans to create 230 posts linked to new skills. The job cuts announced by a European group committee at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac, near Toulouse, include the “closure” of the Suresnes site, according to the unions.
“The management confirmed the closure in mid-2018 of Suresnes, 308 removals and 150” mobilities “from Suresnes to Toulouse,” Yvonnick Dréno, FO coordinator for Airbus Group (majority union) told the press. In Suresnes, the research activity is suppressed and only about ten public relations jobs will be maintained, confirmed the management, without however talking about “closure” of the historic site. On the other hand, the deletions will have little impact on the world headquarters in Toulouse, where many posts should be transferred.
Yvonnick Dréno, of FO, acknowledged that “management seemed to be very attentive to social treatment.” “We hope once again this time to succeed in taking social account,” he added, referring to plans to remove posts that have so far all been implemented at Airbus without layoffs. But the unions remain vigilant, doubting the merits of the reorganization. “The management is suspected of wanting to save money,” Dréno said. “Finance has taken an increasingly important part in Airbus. The company says it wants to reduce the “bureaucracy”, but these employees whose posts are suppressed are not part of this “bureaucracy”, “he insisted.
Movement of scale
The unions see a “financial logic” in the Gemini plan, pointing out that the group has a record backlog of nearly 1,000 billion euros, or 8 to 10 years of production. “We can understand that the group is reorganizing,” acknowledges Thierry Préfol, coordinator at Airbus Group for CFE-CGC, the second union. “But the group has the financial means to avoid any dry dismissals,” he adds. Jean-Marie Peeters, representing the European committee of the TCRC (third union), denounces a logic that “wants to improve the stock price.”
On the other hand, Secretary of State for Industry Christophe Sirugue, speaking of an “enormous movement”, promised to “accompany both employees and territories”. The Gemini plan consists of merge the headquarters of the commercial aviation branch (Airbus SAS, 70% of the activity) with the group (Airbus Group SAS) in Toulouse in order to create a new entity called “Airbus” . In a statement, the group’s CEO, the German Tom Enders, evokes the need for “lighter structures”, believing that “integration will eventually strengthen Airbus in order to ensure its future competitiveness.” Of the 1,164 job cuts, 640 positions are in France, Suresnes, Toulouse and Marignane; 429 in Germany, mainly in Hamburg, Bremen, Ulm and Ottobrunn; 39 in Spain; 54 in the United Kingdom; One in Belgium and one in India, according to management.