EU job-search aid worth €11.6 million for 3,700 dismissed workers in 4 countries

  • €6.8 million in total to support 1 700 dismissed workers of air carriers KLM and Finnair 
  • €3.7 million to support nearly 1 500 dismissed airport workers in Belgium 
  • €1.1 million to support 500 dismissed foundry workers in Germany 
  • Three of the four cases related to the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Aid will support reintegration into the labour market 

In total, 3 700 workers who lost their jobs in Belgium, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands will receive €11.6 million in EU aid, following a plenary vote.

MEPs approved four EU countries’ requests for support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help dismissed workers find new jobs through further education, training or to support them to start their own business. The vote took place on Monday, with results announced on Tuesday.

Finland and the Netherlands: Finnair and KLM

1 201 former KLM workers in the Netherlands and 500 former Finnair workers in Finland, who lost their jobs due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on passenger air transport, will receive a total of €6.8 million (€5 million for Dutch and €1.8 million for Finnish workers).

According to the Commission, in 2020, Finnair’s revenues fell by 73.2% to €829.2 million, and KLM’s revenues fell by 53.8% to €5 120 million, compared to 2019. In order to reduce costs, both airlines implemented restructuring plans, leading to the dismissal of workers.

The report on Finnair by rapporteur Eero Heinäluoma (S&D, FI) recommending that Parliament approve the aid was passed by 658 votes to 31, with 7 abstentions.

The report on KLM by rapporteur Monika Vana (Greens/EFA, AT) recommending that Parliament approve the aid was passed by 657 votes to 32, with 7 abstentions.

Belgium: aviation services company Swissport

In another COVID-19-related EGF aid case, 1 468 former workers of the aviation services company Swissport Belgium will receive €3.7 million in job-search aid.

When Belgium and many other countries imposed restrictive measures last year to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger plane traffic at Brussels airport came to a halt. Swissport Belgium, one of the two ground handlers at Brussels Airport, was declared bankrupt three months after activities at the airport stopped, and its 1 468 workers lost their jobs, according to the Commission.

The report by rapporteur Olivier Chastel (Renew, BE) recommending that Parliament approve the aid was passed by 660 votes to 29, with 7 abstentions.

Germany: metal-works factories of GMH Guss

500 former GMH Guss workers, employed at the company’s metal-works factories in Germany, lost their jobs and will receive €1.1 million.

GMH Guss and its subsidiaries are suppliers to the automotive and shipbuilding industry. After some of the company’s biggest clients relocated their production to non-EU countries in Eastern Europe and Asia, Germany applied for EGF support to workers dismissed in four of GMH Guss’s subsidiaries.

The report by rapporteur Jens Geier (S&D, DE) recommending that Parliament approve the aid was passed by 670 votes to 22, with 4 abstentions.