Germany’s economy minister has continued to talk tough about retaliation for job cuts by Airbus. Concerned that German workers will bear the brunt of expected job losses, the minister, Michael Glos, was quoted at the weekend as saying Berlin might cancel defence contracts with Airbus’ parent company EADS.
Asked about that on Monday Glos told reporters: “I wanted to express that we are serious about fighting for jobs with EADS.” He added: “We are fighting with all the means available to us.”
Airbus has seven factories in Germany and -including apprentices – it employs nearly 22,500 people. The largest, in Hamburg, has 11,442 workers. The mayor of Bremen, which has the second largest German Airbus plant, with 3,326 employees, applauded Glos. He said any threat to retaliate is “legitimate.”
However the German defence ministry pointed out that contracts, for example, for Eurofighter jets are “binding” and Berlin cannot cancel them.
Airbus chief Louis Gallois is due to reveal details of where jobs will be lost as part of a cost cutting restructuring plan in two weeks time. Before then, on Tuesday 13 February, he is due to meet Glos and possibly the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
A German government spokesman said the cuts have to be “understandable, transparent and shared out fairly” reflecting a concern there that the axe will fall more heavily in Germany than elsewhere in Europe.