‘TAKE STRIKE ACTION IN OUR DEFENCE!’ – urge Vestas occupiers


‘we are calling for strike action in our defence,’ occupying Vestas worker Mark Smith declared yesterday, after bailiffs turned up at the wind turbine blade factory on the Isle of Wight.

Workers have been occupying the Newport site since July 20 against plans to close the factory and the loss of 625 jobs.

Vestas had said it was closing the plant on July 31 but has been forced to extend that date to Monday, August 10.

Bailiffs turned up at the site yesterday.

Mark Smith told News Line: ‘We had a call from management downstairs to say the bailiffs want to serve paperwork.

‘I refused to see them and refused to accept paperwork until I get legal advice.

‘They urged me to come to the back door but I refused.

‘Managers claimed that the bailiffs had served notice anyway.

‘I’m just waiting to hear from my lawyer.

‘We are calling for workers to take strike action in our defence.

‘This is crunch time.’

Mark added later: ‘We’re getting good support from Vestas workers and former workers and their families.

‘We’ve been getting hold of the unions and are waiting for their response.

‘We’ll definitely be making an appeal over the tannoy to the 6pm gathering outside the factory tonight.

‘They’ve stuck a notice on the outside of one of the windows saying they intend to take repossession at 12noon tomorrow.

‘But we haven’t been served papers personally.’

Commenting on the intended eviction notice, Vestas worker and RMT member Steve Stotesbury told News Line: ‘This is not the end of the fight, it’s just another chapter, not the end of the story.

‘When our fellow comrades come out we will be stronger because there will be more of us.

‘We’ve always said this is a peaceful protest and we will do everything to keep it peaceful.

‘There will be full support for our boys tomorrow.

‘The unions have been supporting us and the TUC has called on all the unions to do so.

‘Our union will take all the necessary steps to ensure there are jobs available on the island for Vestas workers and that there is a future for RMT members and other workers.

‘We’re still calling for nationalisation.

‘Everything we’ve asked for we still require.

‘We’re expecting a good crowd on Saturday for the Day of Action.’

Meanwhile five people are continuing a rooftop protest at Vestas’ Venture Quays building in Cowes.

The four men and one woman climbed on to the building on Tuesday and have hung banners reading ‘In solidarity with the Vestas workers’ and ‘Fight for green jobs’.

Vestas has blamed the plans to lay off the 625 workers on a drop in demand.