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Package of EGF to help workers in clothing industries
28
Aug '10
The European Commission approved an application from Spain for assistance from the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The € 1 844 700 requested by the Spanish authorities will help 500 redundant workers back into employment. The workers lost their jobs in the clothing industry after the economic slowdown exacerbated an already difficult situation, leading to an increase in payment defaults and eventually resulting in bankruptcies. The application will now go to the European Parliament and EU Ministers for agreement.

"Galicia (Spain) has been severely hit by the industrial crisis. 32 700 jobs were lost in manufacturing industry during the period 2007 – 2009, of which 4 414 in textiles, 3 940 in the automotive industry, and 2 098 in the maritime industry" said László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. He added: "The redundant workers are finding it hard to reach new opportunities. I am confident that the EGF training and support will help cushion the transition to a new job”.

The application relates to 703 redundancies in 82 small and medium sized enterprises in Galicia. The dismissals were a consequence of the new economic context resulting from the financial and economic crisis, which has severely affected the textiles and clothing industry since Q3/2008. The conditions governing access to credits with a view to financing the operations of the sector were made much more severe, whilst the decrease in consumer demand simultaneously put pressure on the producers. All this resulted in bankruptcies in the textiles industry.

The impact of these redundancies at local level is huge, as they aggravate the existing problem of unemployment in the region. In relation to the number of workers employed in manufacture of wearing apparel, they represent the following shares in the cities most affected: 9.68 % in Pontevedra, 5 % in Lugo, 4.4 % in A Coruña and 2.23 % in Ourense.

The package of EGF assistance for the former workers of the clothing industry will help 500 of the most disadvantaged back into employment by offering them: careers guidance; training and re-training; mobility and training vouchers; and also support for a better work-life balance. The total estimated cost of the package is almost € 2.8 million, of which the European Union has been asked to provide EGF assistance of € 1.8 million.

European Commission

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