‘Angry At The Courts!’

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Children of Vestas workers lead the march to the Newport Magistrates Court last Wednesday
Children of Vestas workers lead the march to the Newport Magistrates Court last Wednesday

Provocative actions by court officials have angered workers occupying the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight.

Vestas workers said it has made them more determined to win.

One of the occupiers Mark Smith told News Line yesterday: ‘We had an event last night.

‘An official from the court was going round our homes in a taxi, trying to serve papers.

‘They should have served them here.

‘My wife felt intimidated and the children were crying.

‘She has sealed the letter box up.

‘It’s totally wrong to start intimidating our families.

‘People here feel very strongly about these tactics, and it makes them all the more determined.’

Mark said the workers were in good spirits yesterday afternoon as they had just received a hold-all full of food.

He explained: ‘Some people from outside got food in.

‘They dressed up in fancy dress and caused a distraction in front of the factory while others got through the hedge on the side.

‘They managed to get the food up to us before being allowed to leave without being arrested.

‘Police just escorted them off the premises.’

He added: ‘We are making contact with the people at Johnny Walker in Scotland and we’re sticking to our call for nationalisation, while some are considering a workers co-operative.

‘The next thing will be the new court hearing on Tuesday.’

The RMT, which has recruited a number of Vestas workers, confirmed yesterday that it is seeking legal advice with a view to prosecuting Vestas under the Human Rights Act for denying the workers in occupation access to adequate amounts of food and water.

RMT will be contacting human rights lawyer Louise Christian and workers rights specialist John Hendy QC to obtain an urgent opinion on the company’s treatment of the workers inside the factory.

The move follows a renewed attempt by the company to clamp down on food deliveries.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: ‘It cannot be right that the company are allowed to try and starve the workers at Vestas into submission.

‘This looks to us like a gross infringement of their human rights.

‘RMT have made it clear that we will make every effort to get food and other supplies into the occupation and if that means taking Vestas to court to get the blockade lifted then we will take legal advice on the possibility of following that course of action.

‘Prisoners in Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight get three square meals a day.

‘Workers in Vestas just down the road should be entitled to equal treatment as they fight to protect manufacturing jobs and renewable energy resources.’

Mark Smith said: ‘It’s good the RMT is standing up for us, we’ve tried that ourselves.

‘We’d like to thank the unions for all their support, all we ask is they recognise we have our own voice.’