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EGF to help workers in Spanish textile & construction sectors
Nov '10
The European Commission has approved two applications from Spain for assistance from the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The total of € 3 482 316 requested by the Spanish authorities will help 350 redundant workers from textile industry and 300 workers formerly cutting, shaping and finishing stone for construction to find new jobs. The Commission will now make proposals to the European Parliament and the Council to mobilise the budgetary resources.

"All these redundancies occurred in the Spanish province of Alicante in sectors that are not linked, which proves that the impact of the financial and economic crisis on employment is ever more widespread," said EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor. He added: "The EGF is one of the ways the EU can help redundant workers back into work and I am confident these workers will benefit from the training support the fund can provide."

Textiles sector
The Spanish application relates to 544 redundancies in 143 enterprises operating in the textiles sector. Since the end of the World Trade Organisation Multi-Fibre Arrangement at the end of 2004, imports of textile and clothing articles into the EU from lower-cost countries have been increasing exponentially and EU producers, including those in Spain, are faced with a highly competitive market.

The economic and financial crisis put extra pressure on the sector and aggravated the existing difficulties. Traditionally, the trend in the European textile sector is considered to be linked to the behaviour of household consumption. As a result of the crisis demand for industrial products decreased due to declining consumer confidence and the lack of cash, with redundancies as a consequence.

At local level these redundancies represent, in the five municipalities most affected, 35.13 % of the unemployment increase in the manufacturing sector during the period April 2009-January 2010.

The package of EGF assistance for the former workers of the textile industry will help 350 of the most disadvantaged back into employment by offering them various options of training, promotion of entrepreneurship and accompaniment towards business creation, intensive job-search assistance and allowances and incentives. The total estimated cost of the package is almost €3.2 million, of which the European Union has been asked to provide EGF assistance of €2 059 466.

European Commission

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