‘Close down the Island if they try to evict us’ say Vestas occupiers

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‘I’M not leaving,’ occupying Vestas worker Mark Smith told News Line yesterday.

He was speaking in the wake of a hearing at Newport Court where the judge granted owners Vestas Wind Systems a possession order against 11 of the workers occupying the Isle of Wight factory.

The workers barricaded themselves into the Vestas Newport plant 15 days ago in a protest at plans to close the factory with the loss of 625 jobs.

Mark continued: ‘They still have to get an order for the bailiffs to come in.

‘They’ll have to come and get me; I’m not leaving.

‘That is the feeling of the majority of us.

‘We took over the whole of the factory yesterday but private security guards smashed their way back in at 6am this morning.

‘The management asked us to leave the door open. But we said, no, we’re staying put.

‘We’ve called for days of action on Saturday and next Wednesday.

‘We want the unions to support us in deeds, and take action.

‘We want the unions to warn they will close down the island if Vestas try to evict us.

‘We want the trade unions in Britain to support us as the Irish unions are supporting the Thomas Cook workers in Dublin.

‘We’ve spoken to the Thomas Cook workers when they occupied their office.

‘And we had them address one of the protests outside our factory over the tannoy via a mobile phone.

‘We wish them all the best.

‘We’ve also been in contact with the Ssangyong car workers in South Korea.’

Newport County Court said that Vestas had not yet applied for a warrant of possession.

If the warrant is obtained, bailiffs will then need to be informed and give the protesters 24-hours notice before going in.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, said after the decision that the union would continue with its campaign to save the jobs.

‘The court has made its decision, but we will continue with our campaign and the right to work on green energy jobs.’

Judge White said he was satisfied that legal papers had been served on the group of 11 workers who have barricaded themselves into the factory.

The decision was greeted with boos and jeers.