Flintshire Airbus employees vote to cut their working hours to save jobs

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The workers of Airbus in Flintshire agreed to reduce their working hours by 10% to save their jobs. 

The firm last year announced that it is going to lay off 1,435 employees owing to the financial crisis at its Broughton plant during the pandemic. Airbus, due to the ongoing pandemic situation is laying off 15,000 of its global workforce. Approximately, 1,000 staff has gone for voluntary termination and 450 contracts of production-support workers have also been dismissed by Airbus.

After the announcement, the staff balloted in favour of shorter working weeks. The proposal was overwhelming in favour of cutting working hours by 10%, to avoid job terminations from the plant.

The plant which employs 6,000 people has voted for reduced hours terming for 12 months. This will initiate when the furlough scheme is over. The ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ extends till 30 April 2021, but Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is receiving calls for an extension of the period in order to save British jobs.

The spokesperson from Airbus said that the proposal of the Unite union is significant and can help to save jobs during the crisis. The voting in favour of the proposal will possibly block compulsory redundancies. However, the fate of 300 to 400 employees is still on a knife-edge.  

Jerome Blandin, head of the Broughton plant said that they are able to increase flexibility due to shorter working weeks.  It also helps them in managing the downturn they are facing. Jerome said, ” the company is looking forward to the new arrangements. The employees will be losing 6.6% of their wage and this reduced week will make up some of their shortfalls“.

Since the pandemic situation, the aviation industry is being hit badly and Airbus was no exception. Daz Reynolds, the Unite representative at Airbus, said that Coronavirus had caused a devastating effect in the aerospace sector and they have had an extremely difficult last 6 months.

This is the first time in the aviation industry has seen employees agree to pay cuts in order to save their jobs. The immediate impact of the pandemic is devastating and employees are anxious to sacrifice their wages for long term prosperity. Airbus, like most other aviation companies, is working on an alternative model to overcome these challenges. The organization is hopeful to secure the future of its employees in the coming days. 

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