EADS Works Council Sees Talks on Job Cuts Dragging Out Into 2014

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co.’s works council expects negotiations with management about job cuts to drag into next year as the two sides haggle over the fallout from combining the defense and space units.

Talks will start after the management has informed employees on Dec. 9 and 10 on its strategy and the savings it sees from merging the operations, EADS European works council head Ruediger Luetjen said in an interview in Hamburg.

“I have been a works council representative for more than 25 years and have experienced many restructurings, but I have never seen a management concept to be implemented in its original version,” Luetjen said after a press conference in Hamburg, where EADS unit Airbus has a major production site.

EADS plans to move to a merged defense and space unit in July next year after struggling to build up the military business as European governments pare spending. The plan, which will mostly affect employees in Germany and France, is part of a revamp that will see the entire business take the name of jetliner unit Airbus.

According to Luetjen, the works council hasn’t yet been informed on the number of job reductions. He said he cannot comment on figures, including 8,000 reductions cited by German news wire Deutsche Presse Agentur, yesterday.

“I can neither confirm that 8,000 jobs are cut nor 6,000 or 7,000, I just don’t know it, as it has not been a topic in the meetings with the management so far,” he said.

The works council in conjunction with IG Metall, one of Germany’s most powerful unions, plans a day of protests at five locations in Northern Germany on Nov. 28. The action will take place at the Airbus factories in Hamburg, Bremen and Stade as well as the Premium Aerotec sites in Varel and Nordenham.

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