West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre has condemned a raft of proposals which would make it much harder for companies to restructure their operations in difficult times that has been adopted by the European Parliament today (Tues).

The report from the parliament's Employment Committee recommends new rules which would require any company with more than 100 staff go through a lengthy and complicated process before any restructuring - and would even make the firm responsible for retraining employees facing redundancy.

In her role as Conservative employment spokesman Anthea McIntyre has consistently opposed the proposals as a "socialist wish list" which would destroy the ability of struggling companies to stay afloat. She believes the proposed rules would leave them hamstrung at the very time they need to move promptly and effectively to restructure and save their businesses.

After today's vote in Strasbourg she said: "It is a disappointment that a majority of MEPs have chosen to back proposals which are unrealistic, impractical and self-defeating. These measures would not save a single job but could instead push struggling companies into collapse.

According to the proposals the legislation would become applicable if restructuring operations would affect at least 100 employees in a single company or 500 employees in a company and its dependent companies in one or more member states over a period of three months. As “dependent companies” could include any sub-contractor or supplier the proposal would lead to a very high degree of legal uncertainty for almost any employer in Europe.

The proposals specify that the restructuring company would be obliged to give an early explanation and justification to “all relevant stakeholders”. It would then be obliged to follow a checklist of alternatives which would have to be considered before a restructuring would take place.

The employer would also be made responsible for retraining redundant employees for employment in new jobs with other employers. Companies would be obliged to negotiate social plans and to monitor on a permanent basis the "psycho-social health" of redundant staff.

Another clause insists that "relevant measures should be taken several months prior to the proposed restructuring" and should "include the prompt provision of retraining courses".

Miss McIntyre said: "Fortunately these are not legislative proposals. They are in a so-called own-initiative report so the vote does not make them law. The European Commission is, however, obliged to respond to the suggestions and MEPs voted to urge the Commission to come forward as soon as possible with a legal act.

"I hope the response will be a sensible and practical one and will take note of our very grave fears about the thrust of these proposals."

Local MEP Anthea McIntyre has again spoken out against some of the crazy proposals being discussed in Europe that would, if implemented, destroy many local businesses and thousands of jobs.

Addressing a Breakfast Meeting organised by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce on Friday, 25th January, Anthea McIntyre highlighted the potential damage of a raft of proposals including those affecting pensions, the rights of companies seeking to restructure their operations, changes to Electromagnetic Fields Directive and a review of Directives covering  musculoskeletal issues and workplace ergonomics.

“As the Conservative Employment spokesman I spend much of my time working to defeat far too many attempts to impose additional burdens on small and medium-sized enterprises without proper consideration of the damage they would cause those businesses.

“Similarly, there are endless worthy reports that overlook the essential truth that EU growth plans do not create jobs - businesses do.

“Conservative MEPs are committed to economic growth and the development of more flexible labour markets and we oppose any initiatives that increase administrative burdens or, especially in the field of health and safety legislation, put gesture politics above robust evidence.

“I particularly welcome the Prime Minister’s recent speech on our future relationship with the European Union and I fully support the holding of an In/Out Referendum when those negotiations are complete.  It is absolutely right that the British people decide our future relationship with the EU.

“In the meantime, I shall continue to do all I can within the European Parliament to protect British workers and businesses from unnecessary and burdensome regulations and the use whatever opportunities arise to promote British business.”

 

A Birmingham-based company’s success in exporting its coffee-making machines to all five continents has won them national recognition.

Fracino celebrated its  50th anniversary by scooping the Outstanding Export Award from the prestigious EEF Future Manufacturing Awards panel  and  later went on to win the ultimate award, the Winner of Winners.

“I am delighted to congratulate the management and staff of the UK’s only manufacturer of cappuccino and espresso coffee machines on their achievements,” said Birmingham Conservative MEP, Anthea McIntyre.

“It is great news for Fracino and is further proof that UK manufacturers are amongst the best in the world.

“In my role as the Conservative Employment spokesman in Europe, I am particularly keen to highlight the successes of our local businesses and to do whatever I can to help them thrive.”

Fracino was founded in 1963 and their website is:  http://www.fracino.com/

 

For the first time in its 56-year history, the EU budget has been cut as a direct result of the stance taken by the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

“Cutting the EU budget by around 3% is a significant step forward and proves that Conservatives in Westminster and Brussels are delivering  for the people of the UK,” said West Midlands MEP, Anthea McIntyre.

“The budget cut of Euro 80 bn equates to around £125 for every person in the EU and was secured despite the demands of the Commission and various other countries who wanted an increase in European spending.

“The cut also proves that Nick Clegg’s  claim that we had ‘absolutely no hope’ of a reduction was simply wrong and that the Conservatives are providing an effective voice for our country.

“I am, of course, disappointed that the total British contribution to the EU will go up, thanks to the reckless way Mr Blair gave away part of our rebate.  Mr Cameron quite rightly refused to give up more of our rebate, though he was under pressure to do so.”

 

The Conservatives in Europe have been boosted by the decision of a  second senior UKIP MEP to join them. Marta Andreasen follows UKIP’s former deputy leader, David Campbell Bannerman, in crossing the floor to join the Conservatives.

Welcoming Marta’s decision, West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre said “It is interesting that two senior members of UKIP, individuals who have been at the heart of that Party, have decided that the Conservatives offer the best way to bring about real change in our relationship with the European Union.

“I am sure that Marta’s move, coupled with David Cameron’s explicit commitment to an In/Out  Referendum, will strengthen his hand when he negotiates with our European partners on a fresh future for the EU.

“I know that many people who agree with me and my colleagues that the EU as it is today simply isn’t working in the UK’s best interests have been attracted to UKIP but the fact that their former deputy leader and one of their few high-profile MEPs have rejected UKIP should give pause for further thought.

“And let us not forget that one of the MEPs elected for the West Midlands under their banner has also left them to sit as an Independent – there is something seriously wrong with a party that loses a third of its members in less than four years.”