Europe: EU pays $31 million laid-off Renault workers image

Following a request by the French government to the European Commission, the European Parliament approved a 24.5 million euro ($31.8 million) payout to Renault to fund programmes to help 3,500 workers laid off by the French automaker two years ago.

The French application was initially rejected by the Budgets Committee in October because MEPs wanted further clarifications about Renault’s voluntary redundancy plan in relation to new retirement legislation that entered into force in France after it applied for the EGF aid.

The redundancies mainly affected three regions: Ile-de-France (53% of redundancies), Haute-Normandie (29.5%) and Nord-Pas-de-Calais (12.5%).

The aid to Renault will cover 65% of the program’s estimated total cost of 37.7 million euros, said the European parliament.

The EGF aid will fund measures such as job search advisory services, training, paying monthly allowances until the end of redeployment leave and support for business creation.

The EGF was set up by the European Union in 2006 to support workers, mainly in regions and sectors which have been disadvantaged by exposure to the global economy. It has a potential annual budget of €500 million to facilitate the professional reintegration of workers.

Result of the vote: 448 in favor, 87 against, 90 abstentions.