50 people turned up in solidarity with the workers of Vestas on Saturday the 11th of July. In spite of the continual rain over 1000 petition signatures were gathered from local residents, fuming at the decision to shut the factory.
Delegations from the RMT, UNISON, Southampton Trades Council, Plymouth Trades Council and Ryde Trade Council all brought banners from their respective organisations to show solidarity with the 600 workers who face the axe if Vestas plans follow through.
Speaches were given by Vestas workers, along with Jonathon Neale, the International Secretary of the Campaign Against Climate Change and several local trade unionists and green activists. The rally was reported on BBC South Today.
The factory in Newport, Isle of Wight, is the only wind turbine blade manufacturer in the UK. Vestas, the owners have decided that despite the record profits made from the sale of blades from the plant, they can increase their profits even more by relocating the factory abroad.
However, given Gordon Browns recent pledge of £100bn towards renewable energy, some on the Isle of Wight are wondering why the government has not stepped in to buy blades from Vestas to save the factory and the 600 workers that it employs.
Jonathon Neale from the Campaign Against Climate Change said “These Jobs matter, for the workers, but they matter more for the planet. We can hault climate change, but that will take masses of investment in wind and renewable energy. Time is short. A Government that wont save this plant isn’t serious about our planet. Gordon Brown must act now!”
Time is running out for the Vestas workers and time is running out for the planet. If Gordon Brown is serious about meeting the UK’s target for 15% by 2020 then it needs to take action now to save Vestas.
Save Jobs, Save the Planet, Save Vestas!