July 24 2009
RMT to provide legal assistance to Vestas workers as union demands urgent meetings with Ed Milliband and company bosses to save the factory
OFFSHORE ENERGY UNION RMT today confirmed that it will be providing legal assistance to the workers involved in the Vestas turbine factory occupation on the Isle of Wight at a possession hearing scheduled for next Wednesday (29 July).
RMT, which represents a substantial proportion of the Vestas workforce, are also writing today to Climate Change Secretary Ed Milliband and Vestas company chiefs in Denmark seeking urgent talks aimed at saving the factory which is due to close next Friday.
At a rally at the factory last night, RMT general secretary Bob Crow confirmed that the union was making contingency arrangements to get food, water and other supplies into the factory, including the possible use of a helicopter, to prevent the workers from being starved into submission.
Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said today:
“The whole of the trade union and environmental movement should be proud of the courage and determination being shown by the workers at Vestas in the teeth of threats and intimidation. We all have a duty to ensure that they are not beaten into submission.
“This dispute brings together two crucial issues – the right to protection from companies who abuse the law to hire and fire and the right to live in a world where the environment and sustainability are absolute priorities.
“We are demanding an urgent intervention from Ed Milliband today. The government stand accused of sheer hypocrisy over their public announcements on climate change while our only wind turbine factory faces the axe. If the government can nationalise the banks at the drop of a hat there is no reason whatsoever why they can’t nationalise Vestas.”