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EADS details restructuring effect on jobs

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- European aerospace and defense conglomerate EADS says nearly 6,000 jobs will be impacted through 2016 by its restructuring but redundancies will be slashed.

Its employment outlook was detailed earlier this week when it presented its restructuring plan to the European Works Council, an arm of the European Union which brings together employers and employees.

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Overall, the number of employees of the EADS group that will be affected by its space and defense businesses being merged into one division, the Airbus Group, will number 5,800, the pan-European group said.

As many as 1,500 positions will be offered at Airbus and Eurocopter for redeployment of impacted employees. After non-renewal of temporary contracts -- about 1,300 -- and application of additional voluntary measures, final redundancies are estimated in the range of 1,000 -- 1,450 employees, subject to the achievement of voluntary measures.

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"We need to improve our competitiveness in defense and space -- and we need to do it now", said Tom Enders, chief executive officer of EADS.

"With our traditional markets down, we urgently need to improve access to international customers, to growth markets. For that to work, we need to cut costs, eliminate product and resource overlaps, create synergies in our operations and product portfolio and better focus our research and development efforts.

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"That's what the restructuring and integration plan for our defense and space business is all about," he said.

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EADS subsidiaries include Airbus, Airbus Military, Cassidian, Astrium and Eurocopter.

Airbus Defense and Space Division comes into being Jan. 1 when EADS also changes its name to Airbus Group. The restructuring plan for the defense and space businesses of the group will result in a substantial consolidation of sites across Germany, France, Spain and the Britain, EADS said, and Airbus DS will simplify and consolidate legal structures.

After the consultation process with the works councils, expected to be concluded by mid-2014, Airbus Military, Astrium and Cassidian will be fully integrated and operational at all levels as Airbus DS.

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Among site consolidation measures:

-- The group will divest its corporate office in Montmorency (Paris) and redeploy them too Suresnes, France, where the Corporate Technical Office and Innovation Works workforce is already based. All divisional Suresnes activities will be transferred to Elancourt or Les Mureaux as part of the future Airbus DS set-up.

-- In Germany, the Airbus DS Division will be headquartered in Ottobrunn and functions now at facilities in Unterschleisheim, will relocate to Ottobrunn. Another 200-300 Unterschleisheim-based employees will redeploy to other southern German Airbus DS sites.

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Other site consolidations will take place in Spain and Britain, EADS said.

According to the company, it plans to enter into negotiations with various works councils to negotiate agreements on lowering labor costs and also ways to lessen the social impact of the restructure move.

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