France on Wednesday (July 1) urged Airbus to keep compulsory job cuts to a minimum.
Late the day before the aerospace giant said 15,000 posts would go within a year.
Around 5,000 will be cut in both France and Germany, with thousands more in the UK, Spain and elsewhere.
The jet maker says it’s unavoidable after a 40% slump in production.
To begin with the cuts will involve voluntary departures and early retirements.
But Airbus hasn’t ruled out compulsory redundancies.
And it wants all the cuts done by next summer.
Chief executive Guillaume Faury says the restructuring is meant to ensure the firm has a long-term future.
Now he’s braced for a backlash from governments and labour representatives.
Britain’s Unite union called the measures ‘industrial vandalism’.
France’s government says 2,000 jobs could be saved there through a long-term reduced work scheme.
It says public funding for development of next-generation green jets should also limit the cuts.
Airbus seems unlikely to back down though, setting the stage for a big clash over one of Europe’s industrial champions.
Shares in the firm fell over 1% in early trade Wednesday.