The day after Airbus announced a vast plan to cut jobs, the Secretary of State for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, tried Wednesday morning, on BFMTV and RMC, to reduce the scope of these measures.
"There are plans to cut 15,000 jobs globally, including 5,000 in France (out of 49,000 employees at the end of 2019), but that does not take into account the various State systems and corporate systems", said it first noted.
"We did the calculations last night," continued the secretary of state. "If you set up the partial long-term activity […], 1,500 jobs would be saved (in France note)". “We are also investing massively in the aircraft of tomorrow, the new generation of green, low-carbon aircraft, 500 jobs will be saved for Airbus. Already 2,000 jobs! "
In addition, according to Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, "corporate systems: volunteering, voluntary departures, training leave ..." And to insist: "The State is asking Airbus to ensure that there are the least number of forced departures, the least possible layoffs ”.
"I want to be a realistic politician," he added: "Airbus has seen its orders canceled or stopped all over the world at the same time, and Airbus plans to reduce its activity to 60% for two years. There is a context. "
"When we say that, since the start of the Covid, we have had 98% of air traffic that has collapsed, that the crisis is possibly lasting," he said again, "we are talking about a return to normal in 2023 , 2024, 2025… I don't know how to say how the French, the Europeans will revive. I can't say if they will travel far, I can't say if business customers will come back on the planes… […] And not knowing how to say that, I don't know how to predict the order books of planes . "
11% of the workforce cut worldwide
Anticipating a 40% drop in production by 2021, the aeronautical group announced Tuesday the elimination of about 15,000 jobs, or 11% of its workforce. The plan concerns 5,100 positions in Germany, 5,000 in France, 1,700 in the United Kingdom, 900 in Spain and 1,300 at the group's other sites around the world. "Airbus, of course, will have to live through a very difficult period," concluded Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.
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The aircraft manufacturer relies on voluntary departures, early retirement measures and partial unemployment schemes to limit the use of layoffs, which it does not exclude.
But Tuesday, in an interview with AFP, its executive president Guillaume Faury was more cautious than the Secretary of State for Transport concerning the effects of the long-term partial activity in France.
“We do not know the precise details of the system […] so we must speak with caution, but we think that we can go to around 1,000 jobs, people we would like to be able to keep in the company until 'in the first quarter of 2022,' he said.