Defending jobs

Picket makes Vestas back off on moving blades

Vestas

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Vestas bosses moved four wind turbine blades from their Venture Quays factory, in East Cowes, on Friday 4 September, but backed off from moving the nine blades in the St Cross factory, in Newport, after workers and supporters picketed the "marine gate" there.

The blades are those left unfinished when workers occupied the factory on 20 July. After bailiffs evicted the occupiers on 7 August, workers continued picketing the factory against the movement of those blades and other materials from the site.

Vestas bosses moved four wind turbine blades from their Venture Quays factory, in East Cowes, on Friday 4 September, but backed off from moving the nine blades in the St Cross factory, in Newport, after workers and supporters picketed the "marine gate" there.

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Urgent mobilisation for Vestas, Friday 4 September

Vestas

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Vestas bosses are probably going to try to move wind turbine blades on Friday 4 September, from their factory at St Cross industrial estate, Newport, Isle of Wight. Workers are rallying to picket the movement.

The blades are those left unfinished when workers occupied the factory on 20 July. After bailiffs evicted the occupiers on 7 August, workers continued picketing the factory against the movement of those blades and other materials from the site.

Vestas bosses are probably going to try to move wind turbine blades on Friday 4 September from their factory at St Cross industrial estate, Newport, Isle of Wight. Workers are rallying to picket the movement.

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TUC agenda shows need for rank and file movement

Author: 

Editorial

The motions on the agenda for the TUC, meeting in Liverpool from 14 to 17 September, show that Britain's trade-union establishment is far from facing up to the battles ahead.

Unemployment is heading towards three million. Cuts in public services will soon be sharper than ever before.

Workers at Vestas, Visteon, Prisme, and Thomas Cook have occupied workplaces to try to save jobs. The Vestas workers have called for nationalisation where a workplace is shut by a private owner. Anti-cuts campaigns are emerging around the country.

The agenda for the TUC on 14-17 September has some good motions on anti-union laws and workers' representation, but is sadly weak on jobs.

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Don't accept job cuts at Diageo!

Author: 

Dale Street

In mid-July up to 20,000 people marched through Kilmarnock in opposition to Diageo’s plans to shut down its Johnnie Walker bottling plant in the town, at a cost of some 700 jobs, and to shut down it

Cross-party and union task force now accepts Diageo plan to axe jobs. A different kind of campaign is urgently needed.

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Vestas workers need support in the Isle of Wight this week

Vestas
Our best information is that Vestas may try to ship out the wind-turbine blades left in their factories in the Isle of Wight soon, probably this week (31 Aug - 4 Sep).

Our best information is that Vestas may try to ship out the wind-turbine blades left in their factories in the Isle of Wight soon, probably this week (31 Aug - 4 Sep).

Protest against the movement of those blades, and of the moulds which Vestas also wants to move, is the chief leverage that the workers have with Vestas.

Around 11 blades, worth about three quarters of a million pounds, were unfinished on 20 July when workers occupied the St Cross factory, to resist closure, and bosses sent home workers from the Venture Quays for fear that factory would be occupied too.

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Thomas Cook: Lessons of the Dublin occupation

Author: 

Stan Crooke

Eighteen Thomas Cook employees, six officials of the TSSA union, and the partner of one of the workers appeared in the Irish High Court last week after they refused to end their four-day sit-in against the closure of the Thomas Cook branch in Grafton Street in Dublin.

Eighteen Thomas Cook employees, six officials of the TSSA union, and the partner of one of the workers appeared in the Irish High Court last week after they refused to end their four-day sit-in against the closure of the Thomas Cook branch in Grafton Street in Dublin.<!--break-->

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Vestas - Direct action will be needed, we are asking for help with that - Mark Smith

Vestas

Author: 

Vicki Morris

Direct action will be needed. We are asking for help with that

Mark Smith, one of the Vestas occupiers, spoke at a Workers’ Liberty meeting in London on Tuesday 25th August.


For a full list of all stories on this website about Vestas, click here. Key stories:

What you can do - practical solidarity

The story so far - timeline 28 April to 18 August

Mark Smith, one of the Vestas occupiers, spoke at a Workers’ Liberty meeting in London on Tuesday 25th August.

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Vestas bosses seek to ship blades

Vestas

Author: 

Martin Thomas

The wind-turbine-making multinational Vestas, which currently faces a fight by workers in its blade factories in the Isle of Wight (Britain's only wind-turbine-blade factories) against moves to shut those factories, has started rapidly shipping blades from stock in Southampton to the USA.

Two ships carrying 90 blades each have sailed from Southampton this week (17-21 August), and a third is currently being loaded with 109 blades. According to the Vestas workers' contacts in Southampton docks, another two sailings are scheduled soon.

The wind-turbine-making multinational Vestas, which currently faces a fight by workers in its blade factories in the Isle of Wight (Britain's only wind-turbine-blade factories) against moves to shut those factories, has started rapidly shipping blades from stock in Southampton to the USA.

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Vestas: Organise, debate, unite in action: Building the broader campaign

Vestas

Author: 

By Martin Thomas
From the first hours of the occupation, on 20 July, the roundabout outside the Vestas Newport factory front entrance became a gathering-point for workers and supporters, many from the mainland.

Chairing a Vestas workers’ rally in Ryde, Isle of Wight, on 15 August, Mike Godley, one of the workers who occupied the Newport factory from 20 July until evicted on 7 August, read out web postings which attacked “outsiders” in the campaign.

The postings claimed that socialist and other activists who have come to the Isle of Wight from the mainland had manipulated the workers.

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Vestas workers and supporters speak out

Vestas

Interviews with workers and supporters from the struggle against closure of the Vestas wind turbine blade factories on the Isle of Wight.

Interviews with workers and supporters from the struggle against closure of the Vestas wind turbine blade factories on the Isle of Wight.

Issues and Campaigns: 

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Publications: 

Vestas: spread the solidarity!

Vestas

Author: 

Martin Thomas

About 150 Vestas workers and supporters marched through Ryde, Isle of Wight, on 15 August.

The demonstration was part of a plan to take the campaign to all parts of the Isle of Wight. Most protest has until recently been concentrated in Newport, the county town of the island and the site of the main Vestas wind turbine blade factory.

Next Saturday, 22nd, there will be a demonstration in Sandown.

Vestas workers and supporters marched through Ryde, Isle of Wight, on 15 August. The next national day of action is set for 17 September.

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Vestas workers and WCA reply to Guardian article: You can't leave saving the environment and jobs to the market

Author: 

Vicki Morris

The Guardian newspaper sold a lot of copies on the back of the Vestas dispute, including reaping some sizeable advertising revenue from the Vestas company itself. They didn't print this letter below, from Workers' Climate Action and a number of the workers, some of whom had been involved in the occupation itself. Perhaps if we had some more advertising spend...

Dear Editor,

The campaign to save the only major wind turbine blade manufacturer in the UK remains an urgent cause for unions and green activists.

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Vestas workers declared "redundant" from 12 August

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Workers at the Vestas wind turbine blade factories on the Isle of Wight have today (12 August) received letters saying that their employment is terminated as from 12 August, and promising them final payments (the remaining wages, redundancy pay, etc.) "within 21 days", i.e. by 2 September.

The redundancies were first scheduled for 31 July. Then Vestas bosses rescheduled them for "in the week beginning Monday 10 August". Then, surprisingly, they sent out another later saying that the redundancy date was not yet set, suggesting a further postponement. Then today's letters.

Workers at the Vestas wind turbine blade factories on the Isle of Wight have today (12 August) received letters saying that their employment is terminated as from 12 August.

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Second day of Vestas solidarity action set for 9 September

Vestas
Vestas workers have scheduled a second national day of solidarity action for 9 September, to follow up from the first on 12 August.

Vestas workers have scheduled a second national day of solidarity action for 9 September, to follow up from the first on 12 August.

The longer lead time gives us time to work to get trade unions, Trades Councils, campaigning organisations, local Labour Parties, etc. to vote support for the day of action and get together to organise activities.

The workers hope to get local solidarity groups organised in the different towns of the Isle of Wight tomorrow, 12 August. In the run-up to 9 September, we should aim to get solidarity groups set up in every city in the country.

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Vestas bosses back off again

Vestas

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Bosses at the Vestas wind turbine blade factories in the Isle of Wight have sent out letters to workers saying that the compulsory redundancies there are delayed indefinitely.

The redundancies were originally set to take effect, and final "clean-up" operations in the factories to start, from 31 July.

During the workers' occupation of the St Cross factory, Vestas sent out letters saying that the process was delayed and they now "hoped" to complete it "in the week beginning Monday 10 August".

Bosses at the Vestas wind turbine blade factories in the Isle of Wight have sent out letters to workers saying that the compulsory redundancies there are delayed indefinitely.

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Vestas: debate on priorities for the next phase

Author: 

Martin Thomas

About 150 people, about half Vestas workers, and about half either supporters from the local community or volunteers from the mainland who have come to camp at the factory entrance, attended a meeting on Sunday 9 August to discuss the future direction of the dispute now that the workers occupying the Vestas St Cross factory have bene forced to leave.

Vestas workers and supporters debated a way forward for their campaign at a meeting on Sunday 9 August.

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Government stalls on Vestas: "We do not want to be producers of wind turbines"

Vestas
"The government does not want to be producers of wind turbines", said Climate Change minister Joan Ruddock, when challenged by activists on 7 August.

Workers' Climate Action has issued the following press release:

The climate change minister, Joan Ruddock, yesterday refused to take any further action to prevent the closure of the Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight, where workers are staging a picket and regular protests to protect their jobs.

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They dared to fight: why Thomas Cook workers defied the bosses and the law

Author: 

Dale Street

Eighteen Thomas Cook employees, six officials of the TSSA trade union, and the partner of one of the Thomas Cook employees appeared in the Irish High Court last week after they had refused to end their sit-in at the Thomas Cook branch in Grafton Street in Dublin.

The sit-in had begun the preceding week in response to management attempts to shut down the shop a month ahead of its proposed closure date.

Thomas Cook staff defy the law and are arrested after refuse to end sit-in. The fight for redundancy pay goes on.

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RMT issues press release about Ruddock talks on Vestas

Author: 

Martin Thomas

The RMT union has issued a press release about the meeting on Vestas with Government minister Joan Ruddock on Thursday 6 August.

RMT officials Bob Crow and John Leach, along with representatives of the Vestas workforce, met with energy minister Joan Ruddock yesterday to discuss the future of the factory.

During the meeting it emerged that the government had offered a series of rescue options to the company but each one had been rejected.

The RMT union has issued a press release about the meeting on Vestas with Government minister Joan Ruddock on Thursday 6 August.

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Vestas: maintain and extend the pickets!

Author: 

Martin Thomas

"Vestas, this is only the start, you will lose", read the sign which occupying workers put up at the wind turbine blade factory at Newport, Isle of Wight, before they were evicted at midday on Friday 7 August, on the 18th day of their occupation.

Two workers abseiled down from the management offices on a rope, and one jumped down; three others came out with the bailiffs. (Others have come out individually, or in small groups, over the last two and a half weeks).

After the eviction of the remaining occupiers at the Vestas wind turbine blade factory, the top priority is to maintain and extend the mass picket outside the factory.

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Government meets Vestas workers - but makes no hard commitments

Vestas

Author: 

Martin Thomas

After two and a half weeks of saying that there was nothing to discuss, the Government finally agreed to meet the Vestas workers on Thursday 6 August.

Mike Godley, an occupier who left the factory on Tuesday 4th and is now a RMT steward for the "outside" workers, reported back on the meeting at the 6pm rally at the factory entrance on 6 August.

After two and a half weeks of saying that there was nothing to discuss, the Government finally agreed to meet the Vestas workers on Thursday 6 August.

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A call from the AWL to all socialists, trade unionists, and environmental activists

Vestas

Author: 

AWL

The picket outside the occupied Vestas wind turbine blade factory in Newport, Isle of Wight, now needs to be turned into a mass picket.

That is how we should respond to the "possession order" granted to Vestas bosses in court today, Tuesday 4 August.

The picket outside the occupied Vestas wind turbine blade factory in Newport, Isle of Wight, now needs to be turned into a mass picket.

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Vestas bosses win eviction order, but day of solidarity called for 12 August

Vestas

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Several hundred Vestas workers and supporters gathered outside Newport courthouse on Tuesday 4 August as Vestas bosses made their second attempt to get a possession order against the workers occupying their wind turbine blade factory at St Cross, Newport.

That same morning, several activists had climbed to the roof of the smaller Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight, at East Cowes, to display a huge banner there reading: "Vestas workers' solidarity - In Occupation - Fight for green jobs".

A court has granted Vestas an eviction order; but workers continue to picket and have called for a national day of solidarity on Wednesday 12 August.

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Union leaders call on Ed Miliband to save Vestas jobs

Vestas
16 union leaders have called on Energy Minister Ed Miliband to save the Vestas wind turbine blade factories in the Isle of Wight.

In a letter to the Guardian, sixteen union leaders have called on Energy Minister Ed Miliband to save the Vestas wind turbine blade factories in the Isle of Wight.

Members in the big Unison, GMB, and Unite unions should call on their leaders to add their signatures.

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AWL update from Newport, IoW

Vestas

Author: 

Martin Thomas
On Sunday 2 August, AWL organised a second film showing in Newport, IoW, for Vestas workers and supporters.

On Sunday 2 August, AWL organised a second film showing in Newport, IoW, for Vestas workers and supporters.

This time we showed Rocking the Foundations, a film about the "green bans" imposed by the New South Wales Builders Labourers Federation in the early 1970s. For a Workers' Liberty article about the "green bans", click here.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Workers' Climate Action blockade Ed Miliband’s offices in Vestas solidarity action

Vestas
Ed Miliband’s London offices were blockaded this morning by a coalition of “red, green and black” activists in a demonstration of solidarity for the factory workers who have been occupying the Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight since the 20th July.

Ed Miliband’s London offices were blockaded this morning by a coalition of “red, green and black” activists in a demonstration of solidarity for the factory workers who have been occupying the Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight since 20 July.

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TUC backs Vestas workers

Commenting [31 July] on the planned closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'Even at this late stage we are calling on Vestas to halt its closure plan and think again. Business, unions and Government must get around the table and make every effort to secure a future for wind turbine manufacturing in the UK.

The TUC has put out a statement calling on the Government to intervene to stop the closure of the Vestas wind turbine blade factory.

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