The Nantes-Bouguenais Airbus site (illustration) employs more than 2,000 direct employees. - L. Venance / AFP
More than a thousand jobs threatened at Airbus and weakened subcontractors: between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire, elected officials and unions, worried, are mobilizing alongside the aeronautical sector to try to save local jobs.
The post-Covid social plan at Airbus and its subsidiary Stelia Aerospace, announced on July 2, must concern 5,000 jobs in France, including nearly 600 in Saint-Nazaire and nearly 500 in Nantes, "a blow to the territory", commented the CCI of Nantes Saint-Nazaire in a press release.
"We think that in France, the figure of 5,000 will easily be multiplied by two, counting the interim and counting all the subcontractors who will lose their jobs," said Frédérik David, FO representative for the Airbus site. from Saint-Nazaire.
"It is possible to miss the crisis"
"We mainly work with subcontractors to try to find diversification solutions," explained CCI president Yann Trichard, ensuring that "it is possible to get past the crisis. We have the weapons for that, especially in our region, because we are extremely multidisciplinary ”.
"We have a big activity around aeronautics, but it is not representative of the whole of our ecosystem", he assured, citing in particular the sectors of tourism, renewable energies or even shipbuilding , with the Chantiers de l'Atlantique.
"The Chantiers de l'Atlantique, we thought they would also undergo the post-Covid, but for the moment they seem to be doing pretty well and in Saint-Nazaire, they are also among the big players in employment ", also rejoices Frédérik David, while the communication from the Chantiers confirms that they had no order cancellations and that" in the short and medium term ", they will continue" hiring workers "
Companies that "only work for Airbus"
"There are a lot of concerns here, it's normal, we intervene with our politicians in the region so that they support us", however insisted Thierry Vincendeau who represents the FO union at Airbus in Nantes.
"Unfortunately our subcontractors will be much affected, I believe that in the Pays-de-la-Loire there are 27,000 people working for aeronautics", he added, deploring in particular the situation of " companies that work only for Airbus ", for which the situation" looks very complicated ".
"Our activity is highly dependent on Airbus which represents more than 63% of turnover in France in 2019 [and more than 78% including Airbus subsidiaries]", explained the company Trigo Qualitaire, specialized in quality control, in a document announcing in early July to its employees the elimination of 183 positions in Toulouse, Nantes and Nanterre.
Avoid "dry layoffs"
At the political level, a large panel of local elected officials of all stripes reacted to the announcements of redundancies at Airbus, like the socialist mayor of Saint-Nazaire, David Samzun, who “counts on trade union organizations and negotiations which will open up "so that" these job cuts do not translate into layoffs ". PS Mayor of Nantes, Johanna Rolland, and several deputies and senators from Loire-Atlantique signed a joint press release asking "the authorities of Airbus shareholder countries, including France, to implement a resolute plan to preserve jobs of the aeronautical sector and allow it to work for its progressive reconversion ”.
Recalling that Loire-Atlantique is, behind the Toulouse region, "the second pole of the aircraft manufacturer in France", the PS president of the department, Philippe Grosvalet, asked "the emergency organization of a local round table, which brings together Airbus, the State, local authorities and economic players ”.
"The state aid plan for the sector must be used to protect the maximum number of jobs", claimed for her part the president of the Pays-de-la-Loire region, Christelle Morance (LR) .
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