European aerospace group EADS has a duty to avoid job cuts, French Labour Minister Michel Sapin insisted on hours after the company had said it would shed 5,800 posts.
"Its duty is to put in place measures to avoid all layoffs and in France, it will not be accepted, because it is not acceptable for a company like EADS to cut jobs globally," the minister told Europe 1 radio.
"This company makes money. It's a big company, it has many divisions. If it wants to restructure, that's fine. It is its duty to adapt to the situation.
"But it is also its duty ... to put in place all measures to avoid layoffs," he said.
OK, so the French government wants companies in France to not lay anyone off. That's reasonable. But a "duty"? I mean, why would they be laying off people anyway?
EADS, which makes Airbus planes but also has many other aerospace activities, announced late on Monday that 5,800 jobs in its defence and space division would go in the next three years. About 2,470 affected posts are in the space division while the remaining 2,830 are in defence.
The cuts are part of a restructuring programme undertaken by the company to cope with falling orders, and will affect its workforce in Germany, France, Spain and Britain.
Oh. So you guys are cutting your defense budgets, and then complaining that the people whose jobs depended on those budgets are losing their jobs? Wow. "Cause and effect" are not in your vocabulary, are they?