EACH of the 2,000 Dell workers in Limerick who will lose their jobs before the end of the year could be in line for payments of about €6,000 each from the European Globalisation Fund.
Following changes to the rules under which the fund is managed, Dell workers will be able to apply for money from the fund to help job search and retraining within months.
Dell workers will be let go in a staggered redundancy process.
The fund stipulates that a lay-off has to exceed 500 before an application can be made, down from the previous 1,000 figure.
Up to €9 million could be drawn down from the fund and this must be matched by a government sum of about €3m.
Chantel Hughes, spokesperson for European Commissioner Vladimir Sidla, who manages the fund, said: “It was proposed last year that the European Globalisation Fund needed to be more responsive in times of crisis. One of these proposals was to lower the threshold to 500 people.”
The threshold reduction is expected to be approved by the European Parliament soon.
Meanwhile, Dell workers are to seek trade union help in their quest for better redundancy payments. SIPTU is being asked to give advice amid allegations that some workers have been intimidated during one-to-one talks with management on redundancy and other matters.
A newly formed Dell workers’ group, headed by Denis Ryan from Newcastle West, is considering taking a case to the Labour Relations Commission over the redundancy package on offer.
Responding to the claims of intimidation, a spokesperson for Dell said “Dell cannot comment on non-specific allegations that have not been brought to its attention, but it has mechanisms in place to deal with issues like this”.
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