After successfully integrating its aerostructure businesses in France and Canada under Airbus Atlantic since January, Airbus is now ready to do the same in Germany. From July 1, Airbus’ own aerostructure units and that of Premium AEROTEC will form the new unit, CEO Guillaume Faury said on February 17. German aerostructure unit Airbus gets a go from July.
The integration in Germany within what is called ASA follows on the completion of a new, long-term collective bargaining agreement on February 1 with influential union IG Metall.
German unions and the works council for long opposed the integration of Premium AEROTEC production sites in Nordenham, Augsburg (I-III), and Bremen with that of Airbus Stade and Hamburg. Unions feared the loss of thousands of jobs, especially as Airbus intends to spin-off a separate unit for detail parts. This includes the Premium AEROTEC plants at Augsburg (IV) and Brasov (Rumania) and that of Airbus in Varel. Airbus first announced the integration of its aerostructure businesses early in 2021.
The recent agreement with IG Metall for Airbus Operations and Premium AEROTEC excludes redundancies for operational reasons until 2030. There will no split of the Augsburg site. Individual locations will also remain in place until the end of 2030 and will be involved in possible future aircraft programs.
No solution yet for the detailed parts unit
However, discussions on the future of the detail parts business. “We are still evaluating together with a company called Mubea and our partners IG Metall what is the best way forward. We have given ourselves a couple of months to come to conclusions”, Faury said during an online press conference. IG Metall has said that joint talks with Mubea about the potential transfer to ASA no later than 2025 will continue until March 31. “Without the consent of IG Metall, there will be no sale of Augsburg or Varel”, the union said in a February 1 media statement.
Mubea, short of Muhr & Bender KG, is a supplier of lightweight parts to the aerospace and automotive industry and has been working with Airbus and Premium AEROTEC on all commercial aircraft programs for over a decade. The company made a “compelling offer” on February 1 to acquire the detail parts units from Premium AEROTEC. By acquiring the unit, Mubea wants to expand its position in the aerospace industry. Mubea said its waiting for the outcome of the negotiations between Airbus and IG Metall.
The Airbus works council supports the agreement between Airbus and IG Metall on the main aerostructure integration. “The collective bargaining agreement will secure jobs in the long term and create prospects for the sites under the umbrella of Airbus. Redundancies for operational reasons are excluded until the end of 2030. In addition, there are firm commitments for investments that can be used to further develop the sites. This is a good basis for jointly ramping up production and working on the aircraft of the future”, chairman Holger Junge is quoted in the IG Metall release.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.