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EC proposes €840,000 help to Spanish textile workers
Jan '14
The European Commission (EC) has proposed to provide Spain with €840,000 from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 300 workers made redundant in the textile sector in Comunidad Valenciana (Spain) to find new jobs, according to a press release from the Commission.
The funds, requested by the Spanish authorities, would help former workers from 198 small and medium-sized businesses.
However, the proposal needs to be approved by the European Parliament and the EU’s Council of Ministers before it can be distributed.
EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: “Workers in the Spanish textile industry have been hard hit by rising global competition and the economic crisis. The Spanish labour market is particularly challenging, but I am convinced that the proposed support from EGF would help the workers who lost their jobs to find new opportunities.”
Spain applied for support from the EGF following the dismissal of 560 workers in 198 small and medium sized textile enterprises in Valenciana. The dismissals were the result of increased competition from textiles manufactured elsewhere in the world, compounded by the economic crisis.
The total estimated cost of the package is €1.68 million, of which the EGF would provide half. The measures co-financed by the EGF would help the 300 workers facing the greatest difficulties in finding new jobs by providing them with one-to-one counselling and guidance, skills assessment and outplacement, general training and re-training, individual vocational training, entrepreneurship promotion and support, outplacement incentives, job-search allowance and a contribution to commuting expenses.
Since the closure of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) ten-year transitional Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) at the end of 2004, the European Union market for textiles has been open to far more global competition, particularly from China and other Far Eastern countries.
Over the period 2004-2012, the EU trade balance in textiles deteriorated substantially. There was a 17 percent increase in imports of textiles into the EU over the period whilst the export of textiles from the EU to the rest of the world decreased by 3 percent. The EU trade balance for textiles decreased from a surplus of €1,107 million in 2004 to a deficit of €3,067 million in 2012. 
The Spanish textile industry has undergone extensive restructuring and modernisation in response to increased competition that followed the expiry of the World Trade Organisation's Multifibre Arrangement and the ATC which succeeded it. However, redundancies linked to the restructuring of the textile industry have been compounded by the overall negative effect of the economic crisis on employment. The unemployment rate in the region increased rapidly, rising from 9.61 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to 29.19 percent in the same quarter of 2013.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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