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Dell workers made redundant by the closure of the company’s Limerick manufacturing facility met with MEPs from the European Parliament's employment committee in Limerick today and expressed their concern over the administration of their share of a €22m EU aid fund being made available to help them retrain after losing their jobs at the multinational.
Speaking following the meeting, Labour MEP Alan Kelly said it was clear that the employment committee MEPs were “not happy” with the progress of the Dell workers’ share of the European Globalisation Fund (EGF) to date.
Kelly said that as honorary president of the Dell workers Association, he would be asking the MEPs from the European Parliament's employment committee to take an active role at assessing how the Irish Government is managing the situation.
“It is very clear that once the money has been approved in Europe, it is up to the Irish Government to see that it is spent properly. However, it is the state agencies with their rules and regulations that are slowing this process up and we may run out of time.
“They are drowning workers in unnecessary red-tape and undermining workers' faith in the whole project,” Kelly claimed.
According to Kelly, only a tiny amount of the fund’s monies have been spent and there is less than a year to run on the fund.
“The committee should use its democratic mandate to pressurise the Irish Government into doing a better job for workers regarding this fund,” he suggested.
The Labour MEP also warned that the Dell case could have “serious ramifications” for future Irish applications for the EGF.
EGF monies totalling over €22m have been made available to workers made redundant from the closure of Dell’s manufacturing facility in Raheen, Co Limerick. The EU funds are aimed at helping the workers find new employment through job placements, business start-ups and retraining through colleges, agencies and organisations.