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EC to help 600 redundant textile workers in Lithuania
06
Dec '08
The European Commission has made payments totalling €10.7 million from the European Globalisation adjustment Fund (EGF). The payment of €10.4 million to Spain will help some 1,600 workers made redundant when the American multinational Delphi decided to close down its factory in Cádiz and offshore production to its existing plant in Tangiers.

A further €298,000 will help 600 dismissed textile workers from Alytaus Tekstile in southern Lithuania to get back into work as quickly as possible. The payments follow approval by the Budgetary Authority (the European Parliament and the Council) on 22 October 2008.

Vladimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities said: "In the current crisis, solidarity is an important part of the solution. These funds will help workers who have lost their jobs as a result of globalisation to find their way back into employment as soon as possible - in Spain, where car companies are moving production to lower-cost countries and in Lithuania where the textile sector faces difficulties as a result of imports from outside the EU. I'm happy that the Fund is continuing its good work".

Approved by the Commission in July 2008, the Spanish application covered 1,589 redundancies: 1,521 at the Delphi factory and 68 at their suppliers. The American multinational decided to close down its factory in Puerto Real (Cádiz) and extend production facilities in its Tangier plant through a major investment and an increase of the workforce by 3,000 workers.

The region of Tangiers offers lower labour and environmental costs, tax benefits and special regimes for foreign investment as well as proximity of the EU market. This is a clear example of a trend in the European automotive industry to relocate to third countries with lower production costs, with the corresponding increase in imports to the EU and a reduction of employment in the sector.

The Lithuanian application, approved by the Commission in August 2008, came after Alytaus Tekstile, the textile manufacturer, went bankrupt when imports of cheap textiles from low-wage economies, largely in Asia, increased after the ending of the Multi Fibre Arrangement.

In both countries, the EGF is co-financing active labour market policy measures such as occupational guidance, training, skills recognition, certification and support to entrepreneurs to help workers find their way back to work more easily and rapidly.

European Commission

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