EADS in plan to cut 5,800 European jobs

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US parent EADS plans to cut 5,800 European jobs in a three-year restructuring of its defence and space activities, the European aerospace group said yesterday.

The cuts will be spread between the UK, France, Germany and Spain and will include 1,000 to 1,450 net redundancies, putting Europe’s largest aerospace company on a potential collision course with a French union that pledged to resist forced cuts.

The restructuring coincides with plans to merge the company’s defence and space divisions into one unit combining its share of Eurofighter combat jets and Ariane space rockets as the defence industry absorbs government budget cuts.

“We need to improve our competitiveness in defence and space – and we need to do it now,” EADS chief executive Tom Enders said in a statement.

EADS said the timing and size of a one-off restructuring charge was still under evaluation.

EADS shares closed up 0.8 per cent at €50.49.

To cushion the impact of the almost 6,000 fewer positions, EADS pledged to open up 1,500 posts at Airbus and helicopter division Eurocopter for the redeployment of affected staff. It said it would also freeze renewal of 1,300 temporary contracts and bring in further voluntary measures.