‘High time’ Dell fund is administered, MEP says

8 Jan 2010

One year on from the announcement of 1,900 redundancies at the Dell plant in Limerick, Alan Kelly, MEP, and honorary president of the Dell Workers Association, called on the Enterprise Minister for action on distribution of the €21-million Dell workers EU fund.

“It is high time for Minister Mary Coughlan to make an announcement on how they will administer the €21-million EU fund for former Dell Workers,” said Kelly.

“Tomorrow (Friday) will make it a year to the day since the city of Limerick and the mid-west suffered such a major economic shock with the announcement of 1,900 redundancies,” he added.

Access to fund

Kelly explained that the current situation is that none of these former Dell workers know how they can access this fund and that only two meetings with workers have taken place regarding this fund.

“There are only 16 months in which to spend this money, which is not a long time when you consider the scale of the project,” pointed out Kelly.

Hundreds of queries from Dell workers have been pouring into Kelly’s constituency office as this funding represents access to re-training and re-skilling opportunities.

“Taoiseach Brian Cowen told the Dail in December that a project-management team would be in place within a week but no further information has been forthcoming,” added Kelly.

In August 2009, the European Commission approved the Irish application for funding of €22.8 million, of which the EU will contribute €14.8 million and the Government €8 million, to retrain, upskill and offer further educational opportunities to up to 2,400 affected workers.

By Marie Boran