The European Parliament’s Budgets Committee approved the requirement of the Romanian authorities who applied for EGF support to help 1,000 laid off employees from the steel product maker and its supplier.
Redundant workers in the building industry in two Dutch regions, at a Greek bakery, and at a steel producer in Romania would receive European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid to help them find new jobs, under plans approved on Thursday, September 11, by the European Parliament’s Budgets Committee. However, the aid still has to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, reads a statement of the Parliament. Moreover, redundant workers in wood product manufacturing in Castilla y León and in the food and beverage services industry in Aragon will receive aid too.
The Romanian authorities applied for EGF aid to help 1,000 workers made redundant by steel product maker Mechel Campia Turzii and its supplier. Demand for finished and semi-finished steel products manufactured by these companies fell sharply mainly due to imports from China, which forced Mechel, one of the largest employers in the Cluj County region, to downsize. EGF aid has been requested five times for redundant steel workers, as the EU share of world steel production is in steep decline.
The EUR 3.5 million EGF aid will help pay inter alia for vocational guidance, starting up new firms and providing mentoring after landing a job, according to the statement.
EGF was set up to provide additional support for workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation or the financial crisis and to help them find new jobs. Between 2014 and 2020, the annual ceiling of the fund is EUR 150 million.
At the end of July, steel maker Laminorul Braila, which was closed down in 2012 while controlled by Russian Mechel, announced it will re-start production in August this year, under the new owner Invest Nikarom. The unit will hire 234 people for this first production campaign, and 128 people are already working on repairs, revision and preparing equipment. Laminorul Braila started the production of 10,000 tonnes of steel products for shipyards and for the construction industry. Depending on the results and on the demand for the products made at Braila, the owners will decide on a strategy for the coming period. Invest Nikarom did not mention for what period of time it hired the 234 people. When it closed down in December 2012, Laminorul Braila laid off most of its 300 employees, keeping only about 20 for technical maintenance.
Aid provided to Dutch, Greek and Spanish workers too
The Dutch authorities applied for support after 89 building firms in the Gelderland and Overijssel provinces were forced to make workers redundant due to a lack of orders linked to the global financial and economic crisis. The EUR 1.6 million in EGF aid will pay for training and other measures to help to 475 redundant workers back into jobs. Ailing Greek baker Nutriart and its suppliers made 508 people redundant in the regions of Attica and Central Macedonia. The EUR 6.1 million in EGF aid will pay for counselling, re-training and job-search assistance to help the 508 redundant workers back into work. It will also help pay for training for 505 young people without jobs and not in education in Central Macedonia, which has a youth unemployment rate of 60.4 percent.
Workers in three firms in the Castilla y Leon region were made redundant due to shrinking global demand for builders’ joinery and carpentry wood products. Firms in the region lost 37 percent of their export market in 2008-2011; and by 2013 22.3 percent of them had closed shop. This resulted in over 500 redundancies, exacerbating unemployment problems in a scarcely-populated region whose local economy is heavily dependent on wood products. The EUR 700,000-worth of EGF aid will help about 400 of those made redundant to find new jobs through information sessions, occupational guidance, job search assistance and promotion of entrepreneurship.