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Alitalia to cut 5,000 jobs in shake-up

ROME -- Italy's flagship air carrier Alitalia plans to cut 5,000 jobs as part of restructuring efforts aimed at averting collapse, news reports and an industry source said yesterday.

The cuts are almost a fourth of Alitalia's 22,000-strong workforce.

The Italian news agency ANSA and other reports cited union sources. An industry source confirmed the reports, but did not elaborate.

Alitalia met with nine union leaders at the company's headquarters in Rome to discuss the restructuring plan and to persuade reluctant unions to go along with the efforts.

The approval of the recovery plan is crucial to the company's survival, as it would allow Alitalia to access a $488 million loan approved by the Italian government and the European Union.

Without the loan, Alitalia says it has enough liquidity to pay salaries only until the end of this month.

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