Bickering Comes As 3,000 Workers Strike In Toulouse
A state of deadlock exists in
boardrooms at Airbus parent company EADS, according to news
reports, due to political wrangling over a bond issue to raise
funds necessary to implement the planemaker's controversial Power8
Reuters reports French lawmakers stood in the way this week of
advanced plans to bring the bond issue to voters, according to at
least three unnamed sources close to the deal. That led to a
domino-effect at EADS, said the sources, which is working to
resolve production issues that led to Airbus' current state of
A Monday meeting of the EADS board failed to set a dividend
payment for EADS investors, the second-such attempt that has
failed. The meeting was followed by a staged walkout Tuesday of as
many as 3,000 Airbus workers in Toulouse, who were protesting job
cuts called for under Power8.
"I'm here because the plan means death for my job," said
protester Bernard Camuzet. "With or without the unions, I will do
everything I can to save my company."
At the heart of the issue is the question of state versus
private control of EADS operations -- the elephant in the room
since EADS was formally created in a multinational European merger
in 2000. German investors have blasted the French for meddling in
Airbus affairs, which critics say are a sign the French government
wants greater influence over the troubled planemaker.
"There were disagreements between the French state and the
industrial shareholders on this issue at Monday's board meeting,"
one source told Reuters, adding the French government appeared
unwilling to rush the plan to raise funds.
The French government maintains a dividend offering to investors
could backfire... potentially influencing a May 6 run-off vote in
France. French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin called on EADS
to abandon a dividend offering; conservative presidential
front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy has questioned the wisdom of rewarding
investors as 10,000 Airbus workers are about to lose their
EADS shareholders are set to meet May 4.