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European Commission allocates millions of pounds to aid redundant mobile phone workers

Antony Savvas

The European Commission has allocated millions of pounds to help more than 4,000 mobile phone manufacturing workers who have lost their jobs through globalisation.

The Commission has approved two applications for assistance under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) - from Germany and Finland.

These will now be put before the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers for approval. They concern redundancies at BenQ in Germany and Perlos in Finland.

Employment, social affairs and equal opportunities commissioner Vladimir Spidla said, "I am happy to put these applications forward because they will help over 4,000 redundant workers back into employment. The EGF is being used as it was designed to - to respond to the impact of structural change on dynamic global markets."

Both applications follow a general trend towards sending production for mobile phones and accessories to Asia.

The BenQ application concerns two German plants run by the Taiwanese mobile phone manufacturer. Last December, BenQ withdrew financial support from the two subsidiary companies, resulting in about 3,300 workers being made redundant in three production sites in Munich, Kamp-Lintfort and Bocholt.

These workers will now be helped by £9.1m-worth of funding. The Perlos application relates to 1,000 redundancies at two Finnish plants making mobile phone accessories, which were closed down. These workers will get £1.4m.


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