Anxious Airbus workers are bracing themselves, with just hours to go before they learn the full extent of sweeping job losses.
On Wednesay the planemaker’s parent company will unveil details of its cost-cutting restructuring plan.
Around 8,000 jobs are set to be axed, accoording to German press reports today. The figure of 10,000 had earlier been talked about.
Airbus has a massive workforce at a number of plants across Europe. Most of its employees are based in France and Germany.
Workers’ representatives have been meeting, ahead of the announcement. Despite initial differences, French and Geman trade unions have now decided to put up a common front
But, away from the meeting in Brussels, one union official in western France said there was an impression that the threatened Saint-Nazaire plant will be sold or given up to please German shareholders.
A fellow French union leader said the workforce does not understand because the order book is full.
After months of cross-border wrangling over the cuts, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed on Friday that cutbacks should be balanced between the two countries.
But, for those workers affected, however evenly the pain in inflicted, this is a bitter pill to swallow.
Airbus was plunged into crisis last year by costly delays to its A380 superjumbo.