Broughton bears brunt of Airbus job losses with 1,400 out of 6,000-strong workforce

Airbus Broughton

The Broughton site of planemaker Airbus will bear the brunt of the group’s UK job losses, with almost a quarter of its workforce targeted.

Earlier this week Airbus announced it needed to make 15,000 redundancies worldwide, including 1,700 in the UK, due to the effect the coronavirus pandemic has wrought on the airline sector.

Today, the group confirmed that 1,435 jobs will be cut at its site in Broughton, near Chester, and 295 at Filton, in Bristol.

Broughton, which makes wings for Airbus commercial aircraft, employs more than 6,000 staff. Filton employs 4,500.

An Airbus statement said: “This split reflects the significant impact the COVID crisis has had on the UK’s commercial aircraft manufacturing activities which are concentrated in Broughton.

“Airbus will continue to meet regularly with its trade union partners in the UK in order to identify solutions that will help us implement this adaptation while minimising the social impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the company.”

Daz Reynolds, Unite the Union’s convenor at Broughton, said: “Our members at Broughton are devastated to hear of the scale of the job losses for our site.

“We are a world-class workforce who have built up Broughton to be one of the best manufacturing sites in Europe.

“The workforce recognises the enormous challenges facing Airbus and are prepared to look at every avenue available to mitigate the proposed job losses.

“Our position remains that we will not accept one single compulsory redundancy at this site.”

When Airbus announced its plans on Tuesday this week, it said the cuts will “contribute to safeguarding the company’s future”.

It said it expects to achieve all 15,000 redundancies by the Summer of 2021.

The company has targeted 5,000 redundancies in France, 5,100 in Germany, 1,700 in the UK, 1,300 at other Airbus worldwide sites, and 900 in Spain.

Airbus said commercial aircraft business activity has dropped by close to 40% in recent months as the industry faces an unprecedented crisis.

The scale of the problem facing the company became apparent earlier this year when Airbus revealed in March that it had received no new orders from customers during the month of February.

It was the second time in as many months that a leading manufacturer had failed to generate sales in a calendar month after Boeing also drew a blank in January for the first time in decades.

Later in March, Airbus announced that it had reduced production at its Broughton wing-making plant in response to the crisis.

And in April the group warned that its future was in jeopardy without drastic action, revealing that the company was “bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed”.

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