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Airbus to cut 1,700 UK jobs

The aerospace giant says action was needed after the COVID-19 outbreak.

One of the largest employers in Bristol is going to cut 15,000 jobs globally, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Airbus says the decision has been taken to "safeguard the company's future", following detailed analysis of customer demand in recent months.

The aerospace giant employs 3,200 people at its base in Filton - around five miles north of Bristol city centre - responsible for designing and engineering aircraft wings.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said: "Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced.

“The measures we have taken so far have enabled us to absorb the initial shock of this global pandemic.

"Now, we must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader, adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our customers.

"To confront that reality, we must now adopt more far-reaching measures".

1,700 UK jobs are set to be made redundant, shared between Filton and Airbus' Broughton site in North Wales.

The firm told us specific figures for Filton are being revealed later this week.

In response, the Unite Union assistant General Secretary Steve Turner called the decision "yet another act of industrial vandalism and a terrible insult to our incredible UK workforce who deserve so much better from our government".

He said Boris Johnson must take proactive steps to save the jobs: "The UK government is watching from the sidelines while a national asset is destroyed.

"The prime minister and his team must step up to the plate".

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles also commented on the announcement.

He reassured workers that local government would help them find alternative employment: “This is a challenging time for the aerospace sector as a whole and very disappointing news for the hard-working and talented team at Filton.

"I have asked my officers at the West of England Combined Authority to bring together and lead a multi-agency rapid redundancy response – involving government departments ... to put together a package of options to help affected staff secure new roles or develop new skills.

"I have also begun conversations with Talent Retention Solutions to explore developing a regional business-to-business platform to help workers find ... retraining opportunities".

The Bristol Mayor has called on the government to protect aerospace employees.

In an open letter to Alok Sharma, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary, Marvin Rees urged "the Government to work constructively with the sector to outline a clear programme for a job retention scheme".

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