€15m aid package proposed for former Dell workers

The EU Commission is proposing to give €15m in aid to help former computer workers in Ireland find new jobs.

The EU Commission is proposing to give €15m in aid to help former computer workers in Ireland find new jobs.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says the city of Limerick was hard hit when US computer maker Dell Inc announced earlier this year it would cut 2,000 jobs at its plant there.

Another 840 jobs were also lost at companies that supplied Dell.

Dell is transferring its entire Irish production of laptops and desktop computers to a new plant in Poland, where labour costs are lower.

The aid comes from a special EU workers solidarity fund set up to help member states cope with mass job losses. The money will help fund retraining and job placement programmes.

The aid announced today must still be approved by EU governments and the European Parliament.

"The economic crisis is affecting all European countries but Limerick and the surrounding area have been hit hard by job losses at the local Dell plant and its suppliers," said Barroso.

"The EU is built on solidarity. Our natural response is to come to the aid of those who are experiencing difficulties and to take decisive action to tackle the jobs impact of the crisis. The EGF is one way the EU is helping redundant workers back into jobs, and I am glad that these workers will be able to benefit from the help the EGF can provide."

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