European Commission ready and willing to help on Gallaher's job losses - McGuinness
Sinn Féin Martin McGuinness MLA will be seeking a meeting with the European Commission in order to examine how a successful application could be made to the Globalsiation fund in relation to the JTI Gallaher’s job losses.
This follows correspondence between Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson and the head of the Commission Office for the North of Ireland, Collette Fitzgerald, who has stated that the Commission are ready and willing to process an application.
Speaking today Mr McGuinness said:
“Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has been in contact with the European Commission Office today in relation to the devastating blow to the local economy following JTI Gallaher’s decision to move its operations to Poland and Romania.
“Collette Fitzgerald, who heads up the office with responsibility for the North of Ireland has stated that the Commission are ready and willing to help in the case of JTI.
“This follows on the back of a successful application by Austria only last year after JTI pulled out of that particular country which resulted in €6m being delivered for the reskilling and retraining of those who lost their jobs.
“I will be in Brussels next week and will seeking a meeting with the Commission and the Director General for Employment who is responsible for processing an application to the Globalisation Fund in order to attempt to expedite this work.
“It is my understanding that this is a fund that must be applied for by Westminster and that Europe will provide 60% of any package with Westminster supplying the other 40%.
“Given the sheer scale of the job losses there is an onus on the British government to respond positively to supporting the JTI employees in whatever way they can.”