Dell Workers must be Fasttracked – BREEN

October 23rd, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has expressed his concern at the news that agreement has not yet been finalised which would see funding released to assist the 2,400 workers made redundant in the Computer Industry including former employees of Dell.

Deputy Breen raised this matter recently with the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan T.D. following the announcement by the EU President Jose Barroso on a visit to the Mid-West Region prior to the Lisbon Referendum that the EU Commission had agreed to grant-aid these workers in Ireland to the tune of €14.8.

“While the EU Commission has agreed to grant-aid Ireland to the tune of €14.8 million from the European Globalisation Fund to assist over 2,400 made redundant in the computer industry including former Dell Workers, the stamp of approval must be given by both the EU Council and EU Parliament.”

“According to the Tanaiste this process could now take until the end of the year which means that it is very unlikely that the former Dell workers will receive any assistance until next year.”

“The whole point of this grant-aid is to ensure that these workers were re-trained and re-skilled and that every effort would be made so that they could secure alternative employment. Now it appears this process is going to be delayed.”

“While the Tanaiste has promised that these workers will be informed in the next number of weeks as to what services and retraining etc will be made available to them, I believe that she should be taking a more hands on approach. She should ensure that this matter is on the top of the Agenda and the agreement is fasttracked when she meets with her counterparts at the next Council Meeting.”

“In the meantime I will be contacting North and West Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins to put pressure on the European Parliament to finalise this matter.”

“Any further delays in providing assistance to these former workers will further disadvantage them particularly during these difficult economic times.”

DAIL QUESTION

NO.

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the way the moneys from the EU Globalisation Fund will be allocated; the location where former employees of a company (details supplied) should apply for assistance under this scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Pat Breen.

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 13th October, 2009.
Dell

Ref No: 35168/09

R E P L Y

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms. Coughlan)

An application for assistance from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for workers made redundant at the DELL plant in Raheen, Co. Limerick, and in ancillary enterprises, was made by my Department on 19 June 2009.

In September 2009 the European Commission approved the application. However, it remains to be agreed also by the European Council and the European Parliament. A decision by both bodies is expected later this year.

In the interim FÁS and other relevant bodies such as Enterprise Ireland, City and County Enterprise Boards and the local Vocational Education Committees continue to make their full range of employment, training, guidance and advisory services available to the redundant workers concerned.

A working group comprised of these bodies, IDA Ireland, the Higher Education Authority and relevant third level education institutions, in consultation with my Department and the Departments of Education and Science and Social and Family Affairs, is currently considering the most appropriate mechanisms for the deployment of the anticipated support from the EGF.

Contact can be made with the relevant organisations either directly or through the dedicated Tús Nua website (www.tusnua.ie) put in place through a collaborative initiative between various State agencies and regionally located educational institutions in the Mid West to assist redundant workers in assessing their options for alternative employment and further training or education.

Those redundant workers considered eligible for support from the EGF will be contacted in the coming weeks with an outline of the services that will be made available in order to elicit which particular training, entrepreneurial or educational opportunities they may be interested in.