Vestas granted eviction order

By Liz Stephens

Vestas wind turbine manufacturers have been granted a possession order after going to court for a second time today to evict the workers who have been barricaded in its offices for over a fortnight.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, who was in court, said the union would continue to campaign for the jobs of the Vestas workers.

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

The ruling comes as an unprecedented coalition of climate change activists and trade unionists have occupied another factory in Cowes owned by the same company.

For the last two weeks protesters have been camped outside the Vestas plant in Newport on the Isle of Wight in solidarity with the ex-workers after plans were announced to close the plant with the loss of 625 jobs.

The new protest has been staged to coincide with Cowes week, the annual sailing regatta.

Another major protest is planned outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change in London tonight.

Local MP blamed for Vestas closure

On top of accusations of poor redundancy settlements, Vestas also faces accusations of trying to “starve out” the former workers who are now into their third week of occupying the wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight.

The RMT Union made a formal complaint to the police at the weekend about the actions of private security guards employed by Vestas, after supplies it was sending to the protesters were blocked.

The complaint has been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Vestas has denied the allegations but it may face an injunction against its security guards.

The closure of the plant last month coincided embarrassingly with an announcement by energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband that thousands of new jobs would be created by a low-carbon economy.

The government has committed to an extra 7,000 wind turbines in the UK but with the closure of the plant these will now be manufactured overseas.

Liberal Democrat environment spokesman, Simon Hughes said: “Today’s court decision marks the end of a chapter for wind turbine production and above all for the workers at Vestas on the Isle of Wight.

“But if companies like Vestas are to stay and produce new turbines for the British market then the Government need to increase its commitment to the sector. This means a more streamlined body of planning law.”

A bid last week to have the protesters removed failed when a judge ruled papers had not been served in accordance with legal rules.