* IG Metall board member says job cuts unacceptable
* Sources have said thousands of jobs to go
* Paper says EADS sees potential savings of 690 mln euros
By Maria Sheahan and Jens Hack
FRANKFURT/MUNICH, Nov 27 Germany's powerful IG
Metall labour union warned that it may call on workers at EADS
to take further industrial action to protest the
European aerospace company's planned restructuring.
"If the demands of management are too extreme and seem
disproportionate to us, then further action is certainly to be
expected," IG Metall board member Juergen Kerner told Reuters in
EADS said in July it would combine its defence and space
subsidiaries, effective Jan. 1, and might sell off units that
are small and easily segregated from the rest, sparking concern
about job cuts at the company.
German daily Handelsblatt on Wednesday reported EADS saw
savings potential of 690 million euros ($936 million) from the
move. EADS, which is due to give further details on the
restructuring programme on Dec. 9, declined to comment.
To put pressure on management before it announces details of
the restructuring, which is due to run through July, IG Metall
has already called on workers to walk off the job at EADS sites
across Germany on Nov. 28.
Two industry sources told Reuters last week that the
restructuring would cost thousands of jobs but fewer than the
8,000 previously reported by German news agency DPA.
The DPA report last week said EADS was planning to cut up to
20 percent of the roughly 40,000-strong workforce at its
newly-created Airbus Defence & Space division.
Job cuts of that magnitude would not be possible with "soft"
measures such as relocations, part-time work or early
retirement, Kerner said.
"And harder measures would be absolutely unacceptable to
workers at this company, with the current order backlog. That
would be met with opposition," he said.
At the end of September, EADS had an order book of 642
billion euros, up 17 percent from a year earlier. Airplane maker
Airbus accounts for the bulk of the orders.