Sign and circulate the appeal!
The "Power 8" plan provides for the closing or the transfer of six installations and the loss of 10,000 jobs in Europe. This is a brutal illustration of the "law of the market". In fact, it is the law of the jungle. With the stroke of a pen, the multi-millionaires who run Airbus have thrown out tens of thousands of workers into anxiety.
To the 10,000 employees that the management of Airbus plan to sack must be added those of the various industries that depend on the aeronautic industry: suppliers, sub-contractors, and other businesses, etc. The entire economic fabric will be seriously affected where the planned cuts are severest. In Toulouse alone, where 1100 job cuts have been announced, several thousands of workers are in fact threatened in the short term.
Airbus makes big profits. The order books are full for the next six years. Since privatisation in 1999, the company has increased the profits of its shareholders by an average of 18% each year. Management has told us that Airbus has to concentrate on its "core trade", in constantly outsourcing more and more of its jobs. However, in the end, we can see that the "core" of the entire business is reduced to the maximum return for the shareholders. This means that they do not have to wait 5, 10, or 15 years before making a return on their investment.
The organisers of this appeal demand the transformation of Airbus-EADS into a public company, in France and across Europe. The industry must be controlled and managed by the workers. Its development must respond, not to the greed of its shareholders, but to the needs and objectives of the industry, determined democratically by the workers themselves, where the elected representatives must occupy a dominant place in the management of the enterprise at all levels.
The international character of Airbus underlines the necessity of a democratic and rational plan of production, free from capitalist competition. A rejection of the "Power 8" plan implies a mobilisation coordinated by the workers in their respective countries. We must strongly reject any attempt, no matter where it comes from, to turn the workers of one country against those of another. The division of the working class can only benefit the backers of the "Power 8" plan.
Various political and trade union representatives demand that the state has a bigger presence in Airbus. The presidents of several Socialist Party governed regions have proposed their entry into the group. These recommendations completely miss the point. For one thing, they do not address Plan 8 at all, and for another, it proposes filling up the coffers of a private company with funds from state and regional budgets, i.e. the spending of public money to satisfy the greed of the shareholders. We nationalise the losses and privatise the profits!
Buying out some of the largest shareholders, who have already largely pillaged the company's funds, is out of the question. Airbus-EADS is the product of the labour of the workers. They will be able to develop the aeronautic industry far better when it has been taken out of the hands of the shareholders, who only want to bleed it dry. The workers must take control over the management of this industry.
The signatories of this appeal demand the unconditional withdrawal of the Power 8 plan and the nationalisation of Airbus-EADS, without compensation to the big shareholders. No to plant closures and transfers! No to job cuts! For a 100% publicly owned aeronautic industry under the democratic control and management of the workers!
If you are a worker at Airbus or a sub-contractor, please specify.
Hubert Prévaud (trade unionist at Airbus) Toulouse
Young Communists Haute-Garonne
Editorial Board La Riposte