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Ireland's application to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund approved - Ní Riada

16 December, 2015 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the approval of Ireland's application to The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in the European Parliament today, but says more needs to be done to improve the effectiveness of the fund.

Speaking after the vote, Ms Ní Riada said,

"The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund provides support to people losing their jobs as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation.

"The EGF has a maximum annual budget of EUR 150 million for the period 2014-2020 and can be used only where over 500 workers are made redundant by a single company (including its suppliers and downstream producers), or if a large number of workers are laid off in a particular sector in one or more neighbouring regions.

"Ireland applied for support from the EGF following the dismissal of 108 workers in PWA International, the aircraft maintenance and repair enterprise basedin Rathcoole.

"The European Commission has proposed to provide Ireland with €442,293 as a total of 1,657 jobs have been lost within less than five years within this one sector of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul in Dublin alone.

"Whilst the EGF is good for workers, the drawing down of the funds takes too long and many factories have been closed for a period of time before the funds become available; this current application was made last year and is still waiting to be approved.

A member of the European Budget committee, the Ireland South MEP continues,

"Additionally, there is a minimum threshold of 500 workers, before the fund can be availed of. I recently did a report arguing for this threshold to be reduced to 200 redundancies, with a more autonomous and regional focus. I also identified that an onus should be placed on the companies to look after their workers and the EGF should not be used as some kind of clause to get out of their responsibility to workers.

"The redundancies at PWAI and across the sector are having an adverse impact on the economy and labour markets of parts of the Dublin and Eastern region, with particularly negative impacts on those local areas where a large part of the PWAI workforce resides.

"Therefore I welcome the funds being allocated; however, I recognise the limitations of the EGF and will use my role within the Budget committee to ensure these flaws are addressed." ENDS

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