Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Save Vestas

The Vestas wind turbine factory in Newport on the Isle of Wight was due to close on 31st July this year. Workers who have occupied the factory have been sacked - they were given their notices with pizzas delivered on behalf of Vestas bosses. Their future is uncertain today after a local county court's view. A group of environmental activists have occupied another site at Cowes, and have vowed to remain there until the sacked workers are reinstated.

If the company have their way, six hundred jobs will be lost immediately, and many more jobs that depend on Vestas will follow. It is the only firm in Britain manufacturing wind turbine blades: making it important, not just important for the workers on the Isle of Wight, but for renewable energy in Wales as well.

The climate crisis tells us that wind energy which has to form a big part of our future. With planned expansion of wind power throughout the UK, it makes sense for that new demand to be met from sources as close as possible to where the turbines are to be situated. Ideally, we want wind turbine manufacturing in Wales. Transporting the turbines from overseas defeats the object.
Wind turbine manufacturing needs expansion, not destruction, especially in the current environmental and economic climate. The UK government bailed out bankers to the tune of £1.3 trillion to prevent the demise of 'major' companies. But when it comes to small and medium-sized firms which could save the planet they refuse to intervene. What happened to that Green New Deal?

The RMT's Bob Crow was at the court hearing today and has made a solidarity visit to the plant. I support his call for management to re-enter negotiations and for government intervention. I have written to support the campaign; you can do the same by sending an email to savevestas@gmail.com.


Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

The wider issue though goes far beyond the industrial dispute.

The problem lies with people and politicians all being for wind farms until they come near them. You will ALWAYS find a vociferous anti windfarm group, who often get under the skin of local councils.

How this sits in terms of improving that I am not sure. I am curious to see how, because unless central Government can jettison local decision making somewhat, the wider wind energy strategy will stand and fall on local councils and campaigns.

An Activist President said...

The eviction of Vestas workers is expected at midday tomorrow. Protests are currently planned to take place in the following places tomorrow:

Bristol: demonstrate 5.30pm same day at Bristol fountain

Manchester: 5pm Piccadilly Gardens

8am the following
day at Vestas HQ in Warrington.