Posted by: VM | 7 August 2009

Whatever else you may hear in the media, the campaign is anything but over

The Newport plant occupation may be over, but the campaign is very definitely not. In fact, as Marina put it today, “it’s just getting going”!

Vestas’ doings will still be disrupted as they go about attempting to ‘tie up’ business on the Isle of Wight. Workers, activists and locals remain wholly committed, in ever-growing numbers, to the campaign to save the green-collar jobs in Newport and Southampton. Europe-wide, Vestas is feeling the blast of public dissent over this factory closure. It is being forced to understand that wider issues are at stake here than simply ‘job cuts’: this economic meltdown coincides with the beginnings worldwide of devastating climate change – capitalism’s self-inflicted carnage – fatal not only to bats but human beings in their millions. Inaction, which our leaders attempt to attribute to the imperfections of the market and the industrial planning system we have nationally, is not acceptable to anyone with an interest in the world.

We invite all locals to come and learn about the campaign at 7pm tomorrow on the ‘Magic Roundabout’: a family-friendly solidarity get together is being arranged where workers, activists and Isle of Wight residents will be sharing food and gearing up for the long fight ahead.


Responses

  1. Am i missing something here, but surely you are wrong to be souring the name of a company off the back of something many of us have had to deal with recently (job losses).

    This fight should be against the government only, and not a company that simply offered you a job in the first place, now its not viable for them to stay financially (since they are a business).

    Fight against the government’s watery promises and not against a decent company like vestas.

    You went about this all wrong guys.

    Jane Pritchard
    Jobless mother of three.

    • Decent Company!

      Christ on an a bike Jane, what do you think constitutes a bad company? Profits up by 70% order books full and still they use a 6 million development grant from our taxes to make 600 people redundant. They have just received planning permission for a R&D sit on the Island (green land) and gave a commitment that the production plant would continue. All this is before we get into the actions of management, health and safety breaches and sacking of workers that sought to join a Union. It is financially viable for them to carry on production, have you noticed how they refise to sell the factory, have you looked at their profit figures? Lastly, you are right that the government are wrong, having given them 350 mill our our money they take the factory of them and carry on producing those blades and undercut what they are selling them to Barack Obama for (Colorado Blades are twice the price but workers get paid less) and put the profiteering bastards out of business.

  2. Yes, unfortunately you have missed something here.
    The protests and related actions are not being done to sour the name of a commercial company.
    They are to protect the jobs of over 600 people and avoid pitching them onto the islands unemployment scrapheap which numbers some 3500, all hoping to shine above everyone else, in the hunt for the 174 available jobs, most of which are minimum wage or close to it and most of which are in the care sector, or hotel sector, no disrespect to those sectors, merely stating facts.
    You are correct in that the UK government and local councils must shoulder the vast majority of the blame for nurturing the NIMBY state of mind that results in virtually all land based windfarm applications being turned down immediately, or delayed for appeal and then turned down, a process which can take two years or so.
    However Vestas will not be blame free as most people will see that they are not closing the site because they are going under as a business, but are closing it from a position of great strength, and great wealth, reporting huge profits and collecting vast sums from share issues. In fact the closure announcement was awful timing on their part as it happened just after telling the world how successful they are!
    The same people will see the reports of 13 Directors/management securing £9.45million in salaries and bonuses in a year yet expect to dimiss over 600 people with redundancy packages averaging perhaps 4k which would amount to around £2.5million.
    The same people will see that Vestas claim a smaller carbon footprint from not shipping blades to the States from the UK, but will realise the savings involved and the extra profits made as they charge the USA twice the price for a UK blade for those actually made in the states (as apparently discovered by the sit in protesters), would far outweigh any planet saving related reasoning!
    Plus of course the workers were actually told last year that their futures were secure with investment being made to change the facilities technology to make blades for markets other than the USA.
    People made life changing decisions based on that information. They committed their futures to Vestas. They bought property, got married, bought vehicles, took on financial committments, some even got rid of expensive mortgage protection policies because they felt secure.
    The devastation wreaked amongst those families is enormous as people hand back keys, sell up, beg for financial providers to allow payment holidays, delay marriage and baby plans, arrange to leave the IoW to search for work on the mainland or beyond, all of which starts the domino effect as the local communities start to suffer the loss of revenues from these workers, and the breakup of families.
    So, yes i’m afraid you missed something. Vestas will not be seen as blame free, and they way they have been reported to have behaved over the whole closure issue, by people all over the world, they will not be considered as decent either……


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