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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 15:48 GMT
Workers strike over Airbus cuts
Airbus workers in Meaulte, northern France, protest about job cuts
The loss of 10,000 jobs has provoked anger among Airbus staff
Thousands of French Airbus workers have gone on strike in protest at the company's restructuring plans, which include cutting 10,000 jobs.

Organisers of the day-long protest have warned of further action if the proposed redundancies are enforced.

France will lose 4,300 jobs as its share of the planned shake-up - with a chain of suppliers also threatened.

German workers took part in walkouts and stoppages last week in protest at the proposed changes.

'Not right'

In Toulouse, home of the Airbus headquarters, about 15,000 people marched on the streets with protests also taking place at four production sites across the country.

"It's not right that one of the jewels of European technology is cutting 10,000 jobs over four years, while its order book is full for several years," said the head of the CGT union, Bernard Thibault

On Tuesday, French Finance Minister Thierry Breton said that the government was prepared to buy a bigger stake in Airbus' parent company EADS to give it extra capital.

With elections in France looming, Airbus has become a hot political issue.

Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal and her rival Nicolas Sarkozy are both demanding that EADS is given help.

Airbus has been struggling in the wake of production delays to its flagship A380 passenger jet project, which has cost the firm about 5bn euros (3.4bn; $6.6bn).

Last week the firm said it was suspending work on a freight version of he A380 super-jumbo.

Unions at Airbus's UK factories in Flintshire and Bristol have met with managers to discuss the proposed 1,600 job losses across the two sites.

Redundancy packages are expected to be drawn up over the next three months.




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