UPDATE 1-EADS to cut 5,800 European jobs
* EADS to cut 5,800 mainly defence and space jobs
* Says cuts include 1,000-1,450 redundancies
* Britain, France, German, Spain affected - union
PARIS, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Airbus parent EADS plans to cut 5,800 European jobs in a three-year restructuring of its defence and space activities, the European aerospace group said on Monday.
The cuts will be spread between Britain, France, Germany and Spain and will include 1,000 to 1,450 net redundancies, putting Europe's largest aerospace company on a potential collision course with a French union that pledged to resist forced cuts.
The restructuring coincides with plans to merge the company's defence and space divisions into one unit combining its share of Eurofighter combat jets and Ariane space rockets as the defence industry absorbs government budget cuts.
"We need to improve our competitiveness in defence and space - and we need to do it now," EADS Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said in a statement.
EADS said the timing and size of a one-off restructuring charge was still under evaluation.
EADS shares closed up 0.8 percent at 50.49 euros.
To cushion the impact of the almost 6,000 fewer positions, EADS pledged to open up 1,500 posts at Airbus and helicopter division Eurocopter for the redeployment of affected staff.
It said it would also freeze renewal of 1,300 temporary contracts and bring in further voluntary measures.
Some 500 corporate posts are included in the headcount reduction.
France's Force Ouvriere union said it opposed any involuntary redundancies and reserved the right to carry out "any initiative" to back its case.
The company said the restructuring would lead to a "substantial consolidation" of sites across Germany, France, Spain and the UK, which are considered its home nations.
Force Ouvriere said 1,000 jobs would disappear in France.
EADS also plans to sell its main Paris office building, the former headquarters of now defunct French state aerospace firm Aerospatiale, whose assets became part of EADS when it was created from a Franco-German-Spanish merger in 2000.