The Fine Gael MEP, Sean Kelly, said this week he expected the funding application for former Waterford Crystal workers, under the Globalisation Adjustment Fund, to be fast-tracked through the European Parliament and to be approved by the European Commission shortly.
The former GAA President was speaking to The Munster Express yesterday (Thursday) just minutes after meeting with the new Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner, Lazlo Andor.
“I asked the Commissioner to make the Waterford Crystal application one of his first acts in his new job and I am delighted to say that he has agreed to fast-track it so it will be before Parliament in March.
“From there on, the Funds can be easily deployed to fund courses for Waterford Crystal workers. These would include courses provided through Fás, the VECs and WIT.
“Crucially, it also includes funds for entrepreneurial help. This means that any worker with a business idea can approach the Waterford City and County Enterprise Boards for help with training and funding of new equipment up to a certain level”, he explained.
“This fund is essential for people like the workers in Waterford Crystal who have been treated so poorly and I hope it will pave the way be a new, successful beginning for many of them”, said Mr Kelly
Mr Kelly said he would urge former workers with any queries to contact his office at 061-468788 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fine Gael belongs to the EPP which is the largest and most influential political group in the European Parliament and
Mr Kelly said he intended to lobby other MEPs to ensure the successful passage of the Waterford Crystal application.
“I did the same thing for the Dell workers in Limerick with the result that the money was paid through yesterday (Thursday) and I am confident the €3.95m for Waterford will come fast on its heels”, said Mr Kelly.