At Airbus factories across Europe, the atmosphere was morose following news of the planemaker’s sweeping job cuts.
In Varel in northern Germany, like at the other two German Airbus plants, workers went on strike.
“I can’t imagine it is going to shut down,” said one employee. “There is too much talent here. I can’t believe the company is giving it all up.”
In Toulouse in southwestern France, home to the company’s headquearters, the news comes as a blow not only for Airbus workers but for the entire community.
Many jobs depend directly or indirectly on the industry.
“President Louis Gallois outlined the Power8 plan,” said one trade unionist outside the company’s headquarters.
“They are selling French industry at a discount rate. That is why the employees of Airbus are here today to show their discontent.”
More than 1,000 Airbus jobs are being shed in the city alone and many more could suffer from the cuts.
“For us – small businesses – it is very important. We can’t afford to lose our customers,” said a corner shop owner.
“My son works at the factory,” said another man.
“I don’t want them to leave,” added an elderly lady, adding that Airbus was very important for Toulouse.