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EC bails out 2,840 Dell workers

Ian Grant

The European Commission will contribute €14.8m to help find new jobs for 2,840 Dell workers in Ireland made redundant when the US computer maker shifted production of mobile PCs to Asia.

This is the first time the EC has used new crisis measures brought in to ease job cuts from the recession. The Irish application will now go to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for agreement.

The Irish application related to 2,000 redundancies at Dell's Limerick plant and 840 in eight of its suppliers and downstream producers. The plant made desktop PCs. Sales dropped 23% in the first quarter of 2009, as firms postponed purchases.

This plus the company's decision to relocate mobile PC (laptops, notebooks and netbooks) production from Limerick to lower cost Asian manufacturers, mostly in China, prompted the redundancies.

The commission has received 27 applications for more than €154m for help with some 33,300 redundancies. The Dell application is the first relating to computers, but mobile phone firms BenQ and Nokia in Germany have also applied.


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