Airbus halts wing production with extended Easter holidays for workers in connection with Covid-19 cases

Airbus says it is cutting wing production in Broughton with thousands of workers taking a long Easter break – amid reports of coronavirus cases.

The workers had contacted North Wales Live to express concern about ongoing operations in Broughton claiming that there had been cases of Covid-19 in the workforce and social distance protocols not fully implemented.

Airbus has confirmed that it has had a number of positive and suspect cases globally, but is not revealing numbers on specific sites.

They said that the largest possible distances were applied to ways of working with one meter the absolute minimum and two meters where possible. They said that DPI devices were issued in cases where it was not possible to apply two meters.

The new BelugaXL2 in Broughton
The new BelugaXL2 in Broughton

This morning the aerospace giant revealed that the workforce numbers were now being reduced at UK sites as production is reduced as the company reviews its production flow, given the adapted way of working.

About 5,500 employees out of 9,300 Broughton and Filton workers are sent home for an early start to the Easter holidays. The measures will last for three initial weeks.

Employees will be paid in full since they anticipated the summer closure.

A spokesman said: “Airbus is supporting global efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

“The company has done extensive work in coordination with its social partners to ensure the health and safety of its employees by implementing rigorous health and safety measures, while ensuring business continuity.

“Airbus partially resumed production and assembly work in France and Spain on Monday 23 March after a four-day break.

“At the same time, operations in the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States continued at normal rates. Based on the adapted ways of working that reflect the new health and safety measures, Airbus is continuing to evaluate its production flow. .

Airbus Broughton factory. Photo by Ian Cooper

“In this context, wing rigs in the UK and Bremen, Germany, reviewed the additional completed inventory levels developed in the recent period and the immediate demand for final assembly lines as part operations resume.

“Following this review, Airbus has decided to adapt the production activity in the wing plants for the next three weeks.

“This means that the production and the corresponding production support activities of the Bremen, Filton and Broughton wing plants will be reduced, with a prolonged Easter holiday implemented in Broughton and Filton and a reduced working week in Bremen.

“The sites will remain open during this period and continue to ensure the delivery of the wings to the final assembly lines, the reception and control of materials and components from the supply chain, the maintenance of buildings and installations, critical administrative support and preparation to restart the activities.

“Employees will continue to carry out activities remotely through home work where their activities are not directly related to the adapted production activity.”

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