MADRID (Reuters) - Spain is working with Airbus (AIR.PA) to find ways for the airplane maker to keep jobs in the country, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday, a day after it announced many layoffs as part of a global restructuring.
Speaking to reporters after the reopening of Spain’s border with Portugal, Sanchez highlighted the country’s role in the founding of Airbus and said he hoped to find solutions to retain some jobs.
“We are working with Airbus to find joint lines of work to keep jobs in Spain,” Sanchez said, without elaborating.
The aerospace giant on Tuesday announced a global downsizing plan to cope with the airline crisis that followed the months long grounding of most of the world’s commercial aircraft fleets following the coronavirus crisis.
Airbus, which is 4% owned by the Spanish government, has said it would lay off about 900 workers in Spain as part of a cut of 15,000 jobs worldwide.
Airbus’s CEO Guillaume Faury has warned against using national or regional agendas in the coming negotiations over the job cuts.
Airbus has undergone changes in governance and management since it was rocked by political and internal power battles before and after its last restructuring in 2008, when French and German staff blamed each other for industrial problems.
“We are successful because we have a European and global DNA and because of this partnership spirit which is very unique to Airbus,” Faury told Reuters on Tuesday.
The company plans to cut fewer jobs in Spain than in Germany, France and Britain, where it plans to dismiss 5,100, 5,000 and 1,700 employees, respectively.
Still, the job cuts are a bad news for the country as the economy is expected to be one of the most severely hit among European countries. Last month, Japanese car maker Nissan announced the closure of a factory in Barcelona and U.S.-based Alco disclosed a plan to shed hundreds of workers at its aluminum plant locate in northern Spain.
A union representative in Spain said even though he understood the industry’s crisis, workers ought not be the only parameter to be adjust to improve the company’s situation.
Before the coronaries crisis, Airbus was already planning to cut around 700 jobs in Spain.
Reporting by Nathan Allen, editing by Andrei Khalip and Angus MacSwan