NATIONALISE VESTAS! –demand the 25 occupying workers

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Workers who have been occupying the Vestas turbine blade plant on the Isle of Wight for fourteen days over plans to cut 625 jobs yesterday reiterated their call for nationalisation.

The factory was due to shut on July 31 but is now set to close on August 10.

Referring to reports that Centrica are due to announce plans for a £1 billion wind farm off Skegness, one of the 25 occupying workers Chris Ash told News Line: ‘The Skegness news is brilliant.

‘This strengthens our call for nationalisation.

‘Everybody is fine and in good spirits.

‘We are looking forward to the demonstration at the court case tomorrow.

‘We are expecting a good crowd. They will be marching from the factory to Newport Magistrates’ Court, and afterwards they will be marching back here for a rally.

‘We are pleased the TUC is supporting us. It should raise the issue of nationalisation with the government; they should be pushing for it.

‘Even if the court order goes against us and they order us out, they should still push for nationalisation to save our jobs.

‘We’re fighting for everyone, because if our jobs go a lot of others will too.’

Offshore energy union RMT seized on financial press reports at the weekend that Centrica are due to announce plans for a £1 billion wind farm off Skegness, which will be supplied with turbines from Germany, as ‘blowing apart the totally bogus argument that Vestas on the Isle of Wight is being closed due to a lack of demand for wind turbines in the UK.’

At the weekend the RMT made a formal complaint to the police under the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act calling for them to take action to stop Vestas private security guards from blockading food deliveries into the factory.

On Saturday, RMT officials were allowed to take in a supply of groceries but the union said that by Sunday the company ‘were back to the hard line and restricting food deliveries’ to what the RMT has described as ‘starvation rations.’

The formal complaint to the police was yesterday referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The RMT is not calling for nationalisation.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: ‘RMT are calling for an urgent government intervention to save the plant and to show the country that they are walking the talk when it comes to green jobs and renewable energy.

‘A deal to rescue the Kintyre turbine factory was done with the support of the Scottish Parliament earlier this year when Vestas pulled the plug – the same could be done again.’