Thousands of Spanish Airbus workers protest layoff plan

By Guillermo Martinez and Sergio Perez GETAFE, Spain (Reuters) - Thousands of Spanish Airbus employees gathered outside a factory near Madrid on Thursday, waving banners and chanting through face-masks, to protest against a restructuring plan that will see hundreds of jobs lost. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought air travel to a screeching halt, hammering demand for the planes and systems that Airbus produces. The company, which is 4% owned by the Spanish government, has said it will lay off about 900 workers in Spain as part of cuts of 15,000 jobs worldwide

Reuters July 24, 2020 00:07:09 IST
Thousands of Spanish Airbus workers protest layoff plan

Thousands of Spanish Airbus workers protest layoff plan

By Guillermo Martinez and Sergio Perez

GETAFE, Spain (Reuters) - Thousands of Spanish Airbus employees gathered outside a factory near Madrid on Thursday, waving banners and chanting through face-masks, to protest against a restructuring plan that will see hundreds of jobs lost.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought air travel to a screeching halt, hammering demand for the planes and systems that Airbus produces. The company, which is 4% owned by the Spanish government, has said it will lay off about 900 workers in Spain as part of cuts of 15,000 jobs worldwide.

"We're protesting because the company, taking advantage of this temporary situation of COVID-19 , wants to get rid of 900 workers," said Jose Luis Collado, who has worked at the company for 41 years.

"This is a temporary situation. It's going to pass and we don't understand why we're being thrown out on the street."

From the factory, the protesters marched 2 km to Getafe's town hall where the mayor gave a speech in support of the workers.

"For us it's about defending our rights, defending Spain's aerospace sector. It needs to be supported," said Lorena Fernandez, another protester with 11 years at the company.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said at the beginning of this month that the government was working with Airbus to find ways to keep jobs in the country, but so far no details on any rescue plan have been released.

France and Germany will bear the brunt of the layoffs, with around 5,000 apiece. But the loss of 900 manufacturing jobs in Spain is nonetheless a blow for an economy that has been among the worst hit in Europe by the fallout from the pandemic.

Before the coronavirus crisis, Airbus was already planning to cut around 700 jobs in Spain.

In recent months Japanese automaker Nissan has said it will close three plants in Catalonia, while Alcoa is in the process of shutting an aluminium factory in the northwestern region of Galicia.

(Reporting by Guillermo Martinez, Sergio Perez and Silvio Castellanos; Writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Pravin Char)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth
India

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth

Danish's photographs were not just documentation, but the work of someone who went down to eye-level, as they say in photographic parlance.

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations
World

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria
World

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.