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EADS in for a bumpy ride despite streamlining

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EADS in for a bumpy ride despite streamlining


Even if Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel are happy, it seems there may still be turbulence ahead for European aerospace giant EADS. France and Germany have agreed to streamline the company’s management structure. But the unions, facing thousands of job cuts, say fundamental tensions remain unaddressed: “Over the last 35 years, Germany has managed to claw back a bit more for itself each time – power, management, workload, corporate responsability.” said Jean-Francois Knepper of the Force Ouvrière.

Frenchman Louis Gallois will become the sole CEO of parent company EADS while Germany’s Thomas Enders, who is seen as a protégé of Merkel’s, will report to Gallois. The changes end seven years of cumbersome dual management which has been blamed for some of Airbus’ problems. The so-called “Power 8” deal came together in frantic weekend talks between Paris and Berlin. Delicate negotiations, but worth it, said Gallois:

“It does away with the old “baroque” structure which was more like an international club than a working business.” he told reporters. But, while the major negotiators of the Power 8 deal visited the Airbus site in Toulouse, eight of Europe’s main plane-making regions were also voicing concern over the changes.

The six French and two German regions described them as “inadequate” and called for a coherent business strategy to combat the current crisis.

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