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Air France to keep 2016 job cuts despite clashes

Air France will go ahead with nearly one thousand lay-offs in 2016 as the struggling firm attempts a massive restructuring. The CEO said that thousands more cuts could be avoided if talks with the union go well.

Air France confirmed on Sunday that it would go forward with job cuts proposed as part of a massive 2016/2017 restructuring plan, in spite of recent violent protests by furious workers.

Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of Air France-KLM, implied to the media that around 1,000 employees would be let go over the next year.

The remaining 1,900 cuts scheduled to happen in 2017 may still be averted, de Juniac said, but only if a deal can be reached with the unions by the end of the year.

"If negotiations are successful by the beginning of next year, we can avoid implementing 2017's plan B," he said in a joint interview with RTL radio, LCI television and Le Figaro newspaper.

Violent scenes

Following a refusal from pilots to work longer hours, the struggling airline unveiled its restructuring plan earlier this month.

Frankreich Charles de Gaulle Flughafen Xavier Broseta

Xavier Broseta after his run-in with angry workers at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

The announcement led to scuffles between senior managers and protesting employees, during which human resources manager Xavier Broseta had his shirt ripped off. Broseta then had to clamber over barriers to escape, assisted by security guards.

The images made global headlines - scenes which could possibly hamper efforts from the French government to combat unemployment by boosting investment.

es/tj (AFP, Reuters)

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