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Ponta Delgada ,  January 09, 2018

 Regional Government follows closely construction process of new COFACO plant on Pico

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology stated in Ponta Delgada that the application of COFACO for Community funds to the construction of a new plant on Pico Island was submitted on December 20, 2017, ruling out any eventual relocation.
Asked by journalists, Gui Menezes stated that his department is "in a position to evaluate the project," adding that this assessment will be carried out "as soon as possible" so that the factory "may be rebuilt and start operating once again on Pico Island."
The reconstruction works of the tuna processing plant in Madalena, Pico Island, in the same place as the current one is located have a completion period of 18 months. The company has already chosen to dismiss all workers, most of whom will be readmitted in the future.
"According to COFACO, the rights of workers will be guaranteed," the Regional Secretary stated, noting that "there are support mechanisms for these situations as they will be unable to work [during the reconstruction works]."
As Gui Menezes ensured, "competent labour services such as the Regional Labour Inspectorate and the Regional Directorate for Employment will monitor the situation of these workers and are available to provide whenever necessary."
The Government of the Azores has already created a tripartite support team for COFACO workers. It includes members from the Labour Inspectorate and Social Security services and will be headquartered at the Social Security services of Pico Island.
Speaking to journalists, Gui Menezes stated that he still does not know if "all workers will be readmitted again," as it is "a new factory, there will be some technological changes."
"The company stated that its investment on Pico was partly due to the quality of the workers" from that unit in processing tuna, stated the Regional Secretary. In this context, he emphasised that workers will be readmitted "for their quality and the experience gained."
As Gui Menezes stated, "we should praise COFACO's commitment to continue in the Azores, taking into consideration that these companies are subject to huge competition and red tape costs are significant higher in the Azores."
COFACO has submitted the project for the construction of the new plant, which will replace the current one, over 50 years old, with EU funds under the terms of an ordinance issued by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to support investment in fish processing.
According to Gui Menezes, the project submitted, with a budget of six million Euros, "falls within a strategic change implemented by this company in the Azores with the aim of becoming more competitive."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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