Posted by: vickim57 | 1 August 2009

RMT reports Vestas to police – legal opinion backs right of factory occupiers to food

A press release from RMT this morning:

RMT reports Vestas to police as legal opinion backs right of factory occupiers to food

OFFSHORE ENERGY UNION RMT last night made a formal complaint to the police over the actions of Vestas private security guards at the wind turbine factory occupation who have denied the workers inside the factory access to adequate supplies of food.

A legal opinion obtained by RMT from leading human rights lawyer Louise Christian says that:

“There is a positive obligation under the Human Rights Act on the State and its agents ie the police to prevent private individuals from depriving others of their liberty (see the case of Storck v Germany ECHR). It therefore appears to me that the local police have a positive obligation to prevent the security agents employed by Vesta stopping people coming in to deliver food to those in occupation.”

In addition the opinion states that:

“In the circumstances I advise that a formal complaint be made to the local police about the actions of the security guards as soon as possible asking that the police take action to ensure they allow deliveries of food through and that if they refuse to do so they are prosecuted for an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Alternatively it would also be open for an urgent application to be made to a judge for an injunction against the security company and Vesta to prevent them from breaching the provisions of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.”

RMT have immediately acted on these instructions and papers were handed in to Newport Police Station last night.

RMT are seriously concerned at the health implications of the lack of food reaching the workers inside the Factory. One has already been forced to leave on medical advice after his blood sugar levels were found be at
seriously low levels.

Bob Crow, general secretary of Vestas workers’ union RMT said:

“It’s disgusting that Vestas are trying to starve the workers out and we are calling on the police to take urgent action against their private security company to stop this outrageous affront to basic human rights. We will fight with every tool available to get food into the workers on the inside whose only crime is to fight for their livelihoods and the future of green energy.”

Further info: Geoff Martin, 07831 465103



  1. Why has someone not made a request to the Red Cross for them to have access to the workers in order for medical and nutritional needs to be assessed? I cannot see them being refused entry. If this “Starving” tactic was tried anywhere else in the world, there would be demands for RC intervention.

  2. “to prevent private individuals from depriving others of their liberty”

    Am I missing the point ?

    While I in general support this action, how exactly is ANYONE depriving these people of their liberty ?
    Is the choice to stay inside actually theirs ?
    Surely Vestas actions suggest they want them to leave, so they can hardly be accused of depriving them of their liberty can they ?

    Its hardly realistic to expect the factory owners to actively make life easy for the people sitting in, or is the world of trade unions much different from real life ?

    • Yes m8, you are missing the point : it is the liberty of the individuals who want to take food into the occupying workers which is being denied.

      As regards the food situation …. is it possible to invite people to come to the factory each day to donate food ….. if they are prevented from doing so by the security guards, then the media will see that happening every day and the starvation tactics continually exposed for all to see…..

  3. ….. ie invite people to come with food at a specific time each day …. a kind of anti-starvation campaign, to feed the occupying workers ….

  4. The liberty of the people bringing food in ? Is that really the best you can do ?

    I think you misunderstand the use of the work liberty in this case, earlier the RMT compared the people inside to prisoners in prison, ie freedom.
    This is clearly utter tripe, someone in prison is not there through there own choosing, and can’t decide to leave whenever they choose to, exactly opposite of the Vesta workers.

    It has nothing to do with the ‘liberty’ of people to enter the private property of Vestas to deliver food to people who are effectively trespassing (whatever the rights and wrongs of the closure)

    This use of the word liberty in the case of the people on the sit in is : The condition of being physically and legally free from confinement, servitude, or forced labour.
    Nothing to do with entering private property against the will of the legal owner.

  5. @ Controller South, think most reading here will place much more weight in the legal opinion of Louise Christian than on yours.

    Bear in mind too that the bosses’ expensive lawyers screwed up on a thing as simple as proper service last week in court. (ROFL)

  6. You appear to have more faith in the legal world than I.
    In 1 breath you are saying lawyers know what they are talking about, and then you’re saying some lawyers could not find their a**e with both hands and messed something up.

    Also, since when did a lawyer saying something actually make it right ? It’s not actually up to them is it ? I always thought that the courts really make the decisions.

    Leave your front door open, I’m going to use my ‘liberty’ to come round and take all the food out of your kitchen.
    I assume that that’s reasonable use of my liberty under your thinking ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: