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COVID-19: Airbus Furloughs 3,200 UK Workers

: Apr 29, 2020 - : 12:00 am

Airbus has decided to furlough 3,200 of its staff based at its plant in Broughton, Wales, which is responsible for the manufacture of wings.

The employees will be able to take advantage of the UK’s job retention scheme by which the government guarantees 80 per cent of an employee’s salary while they are unable to work, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Airbus has agreed with unions to add up to a further 10 per cent of furloughed workers’ normal salary.

The move will be staggered over a three-week period and will initially last for three weeks per employee. Additional U.K. staff at the Filton unit, which both designs and supports wings, remain unaffected by the move.

The company recently sent out a letter to its 134,000 employees in which it stated that the company “may now need to plan for more far-reaching measures” owing to the enormous loss in business. Having chosen to cut production by one third at the beginning of April, Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, has made it clear that this one-third reduction in productivity may not be a worst-case scenario.

“We’re bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed, which may threaten the very existence of our company,” said Faury. “We must now act urgently to reduce our cash-out, restore our financial balance and, ultimately, to regain control of our destiny.”

Airbus is said to be considering many options such as state-guaranteed loans, having already taken advantage of the French furlough scheme when it suspended work for 3,000 French employees.

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