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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 March 2007, 11:25 GMT
'Chain of events' led to walk out
Airbus A380
The wings for the Airbus A380 are made at Broughton
Thousands of staff at the Airbus UK factory in north Wales took unofficial strike action over a "chain of events" - not just proposed job losses.

Two-thirds of the 7,000 workers in Broughton, Flintshire, which makes wings for Airbus' A380 passenger jet, were involved in Friday's walk out.

Unions at the plant did not support the action and urged their members to return to work.

Airbus said the strike was because no profit-share payment was being made.

Workers were also concerned about working patterns, the out-sourcing of parts of the business and the restructuring of the firm, said Billy Mullin, Airbus worker and a local Labour councillor.

Airbus last month revealed plans to shed 10,000 jobs across Europe.

The final straw was when the company decided that they were not going to give the workers any profit related bonus this year
Billy Mullin

Around 1,600 of those jobs will go at the two Airbus UK plants in Broughton and Bristol although it has not been said how exactly those losses will be made.

"I think it has come to a head," said Mr Mullin. "There has been disappointment with the company's restructuring programme.

"Obviously they are looking at job losses of around 800 on the site. Added to that the company is now looking to out-source significant parts of the business so you can understand the feeling of the people that work there.

"I think the final straw was when the company decided that they were not going to give the workers any profit related bonus this year. It was a chain of events really."

While admitting the company was in "dire straits" with the A380, Mr Mullins said that Airbus had told workers the Broughton site was a "tremendous" one for production.

"I think last year there was record achievement in air craft deliveries," he said.

"I think there was an expectation of some form of profit share and to be told that nothing was going to be given was a bit of a shock to the work force."


Rob Dowey, convenor for the union Amicus at Airbus, said he tried to persuade staff at Broughton to return to work.

He said: "Primarily they are concerned about the future and people being out-sourced."

Airbus revealed in February it was planning to cut 10,000 of its 57,000 jobs over the next four years.

Its plans would see 4,300 jobs go in France and 3,700 in Germany, as well as the 1600 in the UK and another 400 in Spain.

Delays in the company's flagship project to build the A380 superjumbo are set to cost the firm at least 4.8bn euros.

Airbus workers protest at Chester town hall
Around 900 workers held a protest in Chester last week

Earlier this month, thousands of Airbus workers in France and Germany went on strike over the planned job cuts.

About 900 workers at Broughton held a rally in Chester last week over the expected cuts at their site.

An Airbus spokeswoman said: "Both production shifts took part in unofficial action.

"We understand it was caused by disappointment over the news that there would be no profit-share payment this year."

She added that staff were expected to return to work as normal on Monday.

Airbus workers walk out over jobs
23 Mar 07 |  North East Wales

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