TOULOUSE, France (AP) -- Airbus employees striking for higher pay and increased hiring began blocking assembly of some of the European jet maker's biggest-selling aircraft Monday, according to a union representative.
Production of the Airbus' A330 and A340 long-haul jets was being blocked from noon until midnight (1000 GMT-2200 GMT). Strikes will hit assembly of other Airbus aircraft such as the A320 and the A380 superjumbo later in the week in a series of staggered strikes, said Alain Milhau, a representative of the CGT union.
Employees are seeking raises of 3.5 percent for 2010, in line with their 2009 raises. Management has offered raises of between 1.5 percent and 1.9 percent. Employees also want Airbus to hire more workers.
Airbus says the raises on offer are in line with those in the rest of the industry, and that it plans to hire 1,500 people this year, half of which in France.