Posted by: Alex | 24 July 2009

Vestas closure is an international issue

Everyone who has been involved in this campaign is aware of the wide-reaching effects its outcome could have, and the vast network of interconnected issues related to jobs and climate change it is part of.

The labour movement has put the press, UK government and Vestas to shame by being on the cutting edge of linking this issue to the international struggles of workers and environmental concerns against free market profiteering. The struggles of workers on the Isle of Wight are being ignored by a government on the mainland only three miles over the sea – this lies in stark contrast with how aware the working-class organisations who have contacted us are of the international connectedness of the labour movement and of green issues.

To demonstrate this politically intrinsic point and also show the extent to which interest in this campaign has spread across the globe, here is a selection from the thousands of messages of solidarity received by so far which demonstrates its international significance:

Xekinima, Socialist Internationalist Organisation, Athens
Fellow workers, brothers and sisters:

We unite our voice with yours to protest against the loss of 600 jobs at the Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight. We have been informed by the Socialist Party of the company’s decision to move the production of wind turbine blades to America and we agree that this can only be met with solidarity and struggle by the workers. The redundancy package of less than 1.000 pounds for each worker is insulting and of course cannot solve any of the financial problems the sacked workers will face in the next period.

What happened to you, is happening to workers all across Europe and the globe, with the bosses using the financial crisis to attack workers’ rights and to ensure that they can continue to make huge profits. This is particularly the case in our country, Greece where unemployment, poverty and inequality are skyrocketing.

We want to express through this message our full solidarity to your demands and your struggles. We intend to send protest letters to the management of Vestas and to the local Vestas’ office in Athens. We will do our best to inform fellow workers about your struggle all across our country.
Yours in struggle,
Andreas Payiatsos, for the Executive Committee of “Xekinima”

Gegenstrom (“Countercurrent”), Berlin
Dear workers of Vestas, dear comrades,
we hope your are in good spirits, that support from outside is growing and that you push on!
We call ourselves Gegenstrom („countercurrent“), an activist group for climate justice in Berlin/Germany ( We consider ourselves to be part of the international climate camp movement, which started in the UK in 2005. Thus we are happy to be inspired by struggles from British Isles again. Your
collective action is a huge encouragement to those who believe, that the way forward to social and climate justice will have to be brought about by people taking their own life in their hands.
We hope you succeed to continue the production under public and worker’s control.
Right on!

All Together, South Korea
Dear friends and comrades: My name is C J Park. I am a member of All Together, a socialist organization in South Korea.
I am writing in solidarity with your struggle.
You are not alone in fighting against the bosses and the capitalist system to save jobs.
In South Korea, auto-workers at Ssangyong Motors are currently occupying the factory to save their jobs. It’s a sick comedy to hear that the company is spending about $1 million a day to hire scabs and thugs to destroy the strike which have lasted for a month now. The sense of betrayal these workers got is deathly.
Many governments all over the world spent astronomical amounts of money (people’s tax money) to save the banks and financial institutions last year. And what did banks do with the money?
The South Korean government is planning to spend a huge amount of money to dig up the rivers around the country to build canals which, many predict, will destroy the ecological system.
But the governments and bosses are refusing to spend a dime in saving people’s jobs, precious jobs like yours that contribute to the saving of the planet.
It is the time to show who is the really boss of this world and this system. That is you, the workers, fighting to protect your jobs and lives.
I will do my best to spread the news to South Korean workers so that you may have direct contact for solidarity. In the mean time, I wish you all the best and victory at the end.



  1. Solidarity from Sweden!

  2. […] the accompanying article by Terry Macalister adequately describes the international aspect of struggles such as this. The strikes against Ssangyong Motor Company in Seoul and Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago are […]

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