Airbus Furloughing 3,200 UK Workers at Broughton Plant

April 28th, 2020
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On Monday, Airbus said it would give furlough to some 3,200 production and production-support workers at its aircraft wing production site in Broughton, Wales. The announcement came after the plane maker’s chief executive, Guillaume Faury, warned the company was “bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed”.

An agreement was reached between the company and its employee unions to apply the UK government’s Job Retention Scheme, which pays 80 percent of wages, and “top-up” salaries by another 5 percent to 11 percent. “Airbus confirms it has agreed with its social partners to apply the government’s Job Retention Scheme for approximately 3,200 production and production-support employees at its commercial aircraft site in Broughton,” it said in a statement.

Airbus will top up gross salaries to bring pay up to 85-90% of pay, following an agreement signed with trade union representatives. Airbus employs 13,500 people in the UK, at Broughton and Filton in Bristol, and 135,000 people worldwide.

With the furlough plans not including the company’s plant in Filton, UK, most of the company’s production-related employees at Broughton, where aeroplane wings are made, will be affected by the plan. The plan calls for staggered furlough periods; all start in the next three weeks and last for at least three weeks.

To preserve Airbus’s ability to meet customer demand while protecting its ability to adapt further as the market evolves, the company cut production by a third across its employees on April 8.

“The impact of this pandemic is unprecedented,” said Airbus chief executive officer Guillaume Faury.

“At Airbus, protecting our people and supporting the fight against the virus are our chief priorities at this time. We are in constant dialogue with our customers and supply chain partners as we are all going through these difficult times together.”

Airbus could also end up revealing fresh job cuts as early as Wednesday when it is due to release its first-quarter earnings.