THE decision yesterday by the EU Commission to give €55 million to Dell to assist the US computer giant transfer its Limerick manufacturing operation to Lodz in Poland sparked anger among the Dell workers who will lose their jobs by the end of the year.
More than 1,600 have already been let go at the doomed Limerick plant.
Another 400 will be left go by the end of January next.
Denis Ryan, chairman of the Dell workers’ committee, said: “This is a slap in the face from the EU to us. They got taxpayers’ money to come to Ireland and when that runs out they pop on to Poland.
“When that money runs out in Poland, will the EU then help them move to another EU country?
“The EU say there is nothing illegal in what is being done, but is it morally right?
“The EU Commission has questions to answer. It is handy money for Dell.”
Labour front bench spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan said the whole concept of giving financial aid to a company to move jobs from one EU country to another does not make sense.
She said: “Certainly it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of all the Dell workers who have lost their jobs in Limerick.”
Declan Ganley, who is campaigning for a No Lisbon vote, said the decision by the commission days after “grandiosely announcing a relatively paltry €15 million for Limerick is an insult to Dell workers who have lost their jobs”.
Mr Ganley said that the decision should “prove beyond any reasonable doubt” that Ireland’s best strategy was to “hold on to key areas of economic sovereignty, and not to give them away to a Brussels which treats Irish workers this way”.
He said: “We will not recover from this situation with insulting sums of aid from Brussels.
“This becomes especially clear when Brussels is eager to reward the very companies who leave thousands of Irish workers in the lurch. We must remain competitive. We must retain control of our own FDI policy. We must remain as unique and distinctive as possible,” Mr Ganley said.
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