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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 April 2007, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Further strike over Airbus cuts
Workers demonstrate in Toulouse in March
Toulouse workers previously held demonstrations on 16 March
Thousands of French Airbus workers have held a half-day strike to protest at the group's restructuring plans, which include cutting 10,000 jobs.

The firm plans to cut 4,300 French jobs under its Power8 restructuring plan to save 5bn euros ($6.6bn, 3.3bn).

Chanting "No to Power8," an estimated 2,500 workers gathered at the aircraft maker's headquarters in Toulouse.

Workers from CGT and Force Ouvriere unions took part in the strike on the eve of Airbus' works council meeting.

They marched behind a banner that said Airbus's best-selling A320 plane should continue to be built in Toulouse.

One of Power8's planned measures is for the plane to be built exclusively in Hamburg.

"We are treating [the works council] with caution and we intend to keep up the pressure," a Force Ouvriere works council representative said.

Dividend dispute

But two minority unions, the CFE-CGC and the CFTC, did not join the action, warning that taking a hard line now could damage the firm.

"We do not want to slam the door shut on talks," said the CFTC's Gilbert Plo.

Meanwhile, Airbus' parent firm EADS failed to agree on a 2006 dividend in a split between French and German shareholders at a board meeting on Monday, French newspaper Le Figaro reported.

The dividend has proved politically sensitive, with unions ready to criticise shareholder gains in the face of job cuts.

The French government has said it does not expect to receive a 2006 dividend for its 15% stake in EADS.

But German shareholder DaimlerChrysler has been reported to be more willing to consider a dividend.


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