More than 400 Airbus Broughton jobs at risk of compulsory redundancy

Airbus Broughton
Up to 400 jobs are at risk at the Airbus site in Broughton, Flintshire. Credit: Daily Post Wales

More than 400 workers at the Airbus plant in Flintshire could be at risk of compulsory redundancy as the company continues to struggle during the pandemic, according to reports.

The aerospace giant announced plans in July to cut 15,000 global jobs - 1,700 of them in the UK - as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

This included more than 1,400 at the wing assembly plant in Broughton, which had employed 6,000 workers.

Airbus says it needs to cut aircraft production by at least a third due to plummeting demand for commercial planes amid the coronavirus crisis.

The company had previously stated that it wanted to avoid compulsory redundancies, instead offering voluntary redundancy or early retirement to staff.

But it is understood there is a shortfall between those who have left voluntarily and the number of planned job cuts.

Airbus has said it will not be commenting on the ongoing talks at this stage.Unite the union did not want to comment on the exact jobs figure, but said it was working to reduce the number of staff at risk.

Airbus has said it needs to cut aircraft production by at least a third. Credit: PA

When the scale of the job losses was first announced in summer, Peter Hughes, Unite Wales Regional Secretary, said the number was "far larger" than they originally anticipated.

He added that the impact on the aerospace sector in Wales and on the wider Welsh economy would be "devastating."

Unite representative Daz Reynolds, a worker at the Broughton site for more than two decades, told ITV Wales in July that the plant means "a lot to the area".

He said: "There's always somebody who knows someone who works for Airbus. Everybody knows it.

"It means everything to us here. People are unsure of their futures, people have got bills to pay like everybody else."

You can see our report on the community reaction to the cuts in July here:

A statement from the company in July said: "Airbus has announced plans to adapt its global workforce and resize its commercial aircraft activity in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

"This adaptation is expected to result in a reduction of around 15,000 positions no later than summer 2021."

The statement continued: "With air traffic not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023, and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional measures to reflect the post Covid-19 industry outlook."

The chief executive of Airbus group, Guillaume Faury, had previously described the situation as the "gravest crisis" the company has ever experienced.

"The measures we have taken so far have enabled us to absorb the initial shock of this global pandemic," he said.

"Now, we must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader, adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our customers."

Speaking at a press conference earlier this year, Welsh economy minister Ken Skates MS, said that the government would not "abandon" the workforce at the site.

Mr Skates called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide support for the industry, similar to the multibillion-pound package put in place by the French government for its aerospace sector following Airbus' announcement.

"I welcome the Chancellor's decision to proceed with the job retention scheme," he said.

"But now I call on the Chancellor to ensure that as an evolution of that scheme, the UK Government provides support for a shorter working week to minimise the number of job losses."

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