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Germany to feel brunt of 5,291 Airbus job cuts: source

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[January 28, 2014]  By Dominique Rodriguez

PARIS (Reuters)  Airbus Group <AIR.PA> has told its unions it will shed the equivalent of 5,291 jobs as part of a restructuring of its defense and space activities, with the axe falling most heavily in Germany, a union source said on Monday.

The company said in December it would cut 5,800 full-time and temporary posts as it combines the two divisions into one unit sharing the Airbus name, including 500 corporate jobs.

Of these, 1,500 will be eligible to be rehired by the group's commercial planemaking and helicopter subsidiaries and a further 1,300 are temporary workers not on the main payroll.

This leaves 3,000 net job reductions from the main company payroll, just over half of which would be on a voluntary basis, leaving up to 1,450 forced redundancies.

In a detailed internal briefing to the company's works council on Monday, Airbus Group said the restructuring would involve 2,438 jobs in Germany, including 1,010 at the Manching Eurofighter combat jet factory, the union source said.

Just over 1,400 jobs would be affected in France, the source added.

An Airbus Group spokesman declined to comment.

The union source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the French jobs would be spread between four locations  396 in Toulouse, 309 in Mureaux, 411 in Elancourt and 213 in Saint-Medard-en-Jalles.

Elsewhere, 559 jobs are to go in Spain, 705 in Britain and 150 in the rest of the world.

Airbus Group, which changed its name from EADS on Jan 1, is combining and shrinking its defence and space activities to adjust to severe European spending cuts.

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Chief Executive Tom Enders has said doing nothing could set the stage for even deeper job cuts in future.

Unions have criticized the moves, saying they are driven by efforts to double the company's operating profit margin to 10 percent by 2015.

French President Francois Hollande said on Monday the country's stubbornly high unemployment  recently running at around 11 percent  had stabilized, but would depend on strong economic growth to show a significant dip.

(Reporting by Dominique Rodriguez, editing by Tim Hepher)

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