PARIS --- Airbus dismissed more than 100 people and issued more than 300 warnings for ethics or compliance reasons in 2018, two people familiar with the company data said, as it conducts a wide-ranging internal crackdown and deals with outside fraud probes.
The aerospace group is being investigated by UK and French authorities over suspected corruption dating back over a decade and is in the fifth year of a sweeping internal probe designed to improve its chances of winning favorable settlements.
An Airbus spokesman declined to comment on the figures or give annual comparisons. The dismissals coincided with a sharp increase in the use of an internal whistleblower system, providing a guide to the trend on compliance issues.
Complaints handled by the system almost doubled last year and mostly involved matters covered by ordinary employment law.
The service also handled close to 40 allegations of fraud and half a dozen accusations of bribery. More than 10 of the reported cases involved suspected breaches of export controls, the two people said. Airbus declined to comment.
The company, which employs around 130,000 people worldwide, is under investigation in the United States over suspected violations of export controls and U.S. officials have also kept a close watch on the European bribery probes.
The figures emerged on the eve of a shareholder meeting as some investors worry about Airbus’s exposure to potential fines, which analysts say could run to several billion dollars. (end of excerpt)
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