Friday, July 30

Sánchez asks Airbus to protect employment in Spain

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez (i), and the CEO of Airbus, Guillaume Faury.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez (i), and the CEO of Airbus, Guillaume Faury.

The government has broadcast this Thursday to Airbus your interest in having your business strategy go through protect the employment, where the French manufacturer plans to reduce 1,611 jobs (13% of the 12,300 it has in this country), and to be given more presence in management positions of the company.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, met today in La Moncloa with the CEO of Airbus, Guillaume Faury, accompanied by the Ministers of Defense, Industry and Science, among other senior officials from Airbus and the Spanish Executive.

After the meeting, the Government has not provided details on whether any compromises have been reached in terms of employment, although it has explained in a statement that “the future of Airbus in Spain has been addressed.”

Likewise, at the meeting the Executive pointed out “the need to give adequate access to Spaniards in the company’s management positions”, since SEPI owns 4.16% of Airbus capital.

600 million fund for industrial investment

The Government has also confirmed the creation of the Support Fund for Productive Industrial Investment, endowed with 600 million in the General State Budgets of 2021.

This fund will be managed by Sepides – the industrial development division of the Sociedad Estatal de Propiedades Industriales (SEPI) – to promote investments of an industrial nature that contribute to promoting industrial development and competitiveness.

In parallel, the launch of an Aerofund endowed with 100 million euros is also being prepared to support SMEs in the sector’s value chain.

No commitment regarding employment

Last June, the aeronautical manufacturer announced a plan to cut staff to cope with the downturn in activity due to the coronavirus health crisis, which provides for the elimination of 15,000 jobs, most of them in Europe.

In Spain, Airbus plans to cut 899 jobs in its commercial aircraft division (in which there are about 3,500 people) and 722 in the defense and space division (where there are more than 8,000).

The Government has not provided information today on whether these plans are maintained, although at the time the company said it was willing to review them, depending on how the negotiations with the Executive were.

During today’s meeting, which follows another held on July 31, the Executive “has indicated the importance of defining a company strategy in our country to overcome the current crisis in the sector, develop technological and industrial capacities and protect employment “.

The aeronautical technology plan is pending

At the meeting held on July 30, the Government committed to Airbus to promote an Aeronautical Technology Plan (PTA), equipped with 185 million euros until 2023, and to buy helicopters from the European manufacturer, which, for its part, would try to minimize the impact of the job cuts in Spain.

Today, the Executive has said that work is still being done on the PTA, which will be linked to Recovery Fund European Union and managed by the Spanish Innovation Agency (CDTI).

It also undertook to promote the launch of new initiatives in defense programs such as the acquisition of 4 C295 aircraft for Maritime Patrol, 36 H135 helicopters in a first six-year phase, expandable to 59 in a second, and 4 H160 in the next six years, or the transformation of three A330 aircraft into MRTT (multipurpose refueling).

It was also agreed to facilitate the financing of the current NH90 helicopter contract and anticipate payments associated with the Spanish participation in the A400M program. All this in support of the balance of the company’s cash flow.

Seven months after their first meeting, Sánchez and Faury have “advanced” in supporting space programs, and the Spanish Government has “reiterated its commitment to military programs linked to European defense” and “confirmed the acquisition of military aircraft and helicopters,” according to information provided by Moncloa.

During the meeting, a security agreement was also signed that establishes a protection mechanism for the strategic technological assets that Airbus develops in Spain, although the Government has not provided further details in this regard.

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