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Liz Lynne brings EU Employment Commissioner to Shropshire aluminium plant to discuss working time rules

June 8, 2011 9:59 AM

Liz Lynne and EU Commissioner Laszlo Andor with Bridgnorth Aluminium MD Simon MacVicker discussed the EU working time directive during a tour of the plant, Britain's leading producer of lithographic strip.EU Employment Commissioner László Andor visited Bridgnorth Aluminium in Shropshire on Thursday June 2nd at the invitation of local Lib Dem Euro MP Liz Lynne, who is First Vice President of the EU Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee.

The Commissioner and Lib Dem MEP toured the plant, Britain's leading producer of lithographic aluminium strip and discussed current legislation with company bosses, especially the UK's opt-out of the 48 hour limit in the EU Working Time Directive, which is currently being reviewed.

Commissioner Andor and Liz Lynne met senior managers at the plant including Managing Director Simon MacVicker and Environmental Health and Safety Manager Neil Birt and discussed how 'red tape' could be reduced to help ensure the competitiveness of UK manufacturing is maintained.

Commenting after the visit Liz Lynne said:

"I'm delighted that the Commissioner took the time to visit Shropshire and this thriving factory and find out from workers and managers about how EU laws actually impact on the factory floor.

"Both workers and the employers at the plant made it clear to the Commissioner just how vital the opt-out of the 48 hour working limit in the Working Time Directive is to them, a message I have tried to push in Brussels for many years now as shadow rapporteur for this legislation for the wider ALDE group.

"Workers are of course already covered by Health and Safety laws including the Dangerous Machinery Directive."

Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Laszlo Andor commented;

"I have an excellent working relationship with Liz Lynne and this has been an extremely useful visit.

"Flexibility has to be a central concept. It is important the Working Time Directive is fit for the 21st century and I will take the messages I have received from this factory back to Brussels."

Bridgnorth Aluminium Managing Director Simon MacVicker said: "We had a very useful discussion with Liz and the Commissioner and are pleased that they made time to visit us. We are committed to helping those who legislate to understand the challenges we face in industry to compete in a global marketplace."

ENDS

Notes: Bridgnorth Aluminium is a high tech aluminium rolling mill which is Britain's leading producer of lithographic aluminium strip for the printing industry and a variety of other aluminium foil and sheet products. The former Star Litho plant employs 242 staff and is a subsidiary of Elval SA, one of Europe's largest producers of aluminium, copper and steel products.

Liz Lynne, Lib Dem MEP for the West Midlands region is First Vice President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, and Co Chair of the European Manufacturing Forum. Reducing unnecessary red tape for industry while protecting safety has been a key objective for Liz Lynne since becoming an MEP in 1999. Liz is negotiating with the Commission in her role as First Vice President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, is a strong supporter of keeping the opt out and allowing staff the flexibility to work more than 48 hours a week if they wish to.

Liz Lynne MEP and EU Commissioner Laszlo Andor (right) with Bridgnorth Aluminium Ltd MD Simon MacVicker (left) and Engineering Manager Lee Hanson.

Liz Lynne MEP and EU Commissioner Laszlo Andor (right) with Bridgnorth Aluminium Ltd MD Simon MacVicker (left) and Engineering Manager Lee Hanson.