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CLIMATE CHANGE MINISTER REFUSES TO STEP IN TO SAVE VESTAS PLANT
The climate change minister, Joan Ruddock, yesterday refused to take any further action to prevent the closure of the Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight, where workers are staging a picket and regular protests to protect their jobs.
Ruddock informed activists and constituents at a surgery in her constituency on Friday (August 7th) that the government had met with Vestas workers along with the RMT union and the TUC the day before, but said that Vestas had refused financial incentives to carry on production in the UK. Ruddock said that Vestas ‘wanted to move their own factory for commercial reasons.’
When pushed on the issue, Ruddock admitted that the government had not looked into the option of nationalisation, and refused to consider the option, despite claiming that ‘We do agree on the general point of keeping manufacturing jobs in the UK.’
Ruddock attempted to justify the government’s position, saying ‘The government does not want to be producers of wind turbines.’
Workers’ Climate Action
Notes for Editors:
– For more information on the campaign to prevent the closure of the Vestas plant on the Isle of Wight, see https://savevestas.wordpress.com
– Vestas workers have called a national day of action for Wednesday August 12th, which will involve protests in a number of cities, including Warrington, where Vestas has its UK offices, the constituency of Ed Miliband (Minister for Energy and Climate Change) in Doncaster, and the Department for Energy and Climate Change in Whitehall.
– Vestas made a profit of £350 million last year, but is moving much of its production to the United States, where profit margins are potentially higher.
– Protesting workers ended their two-week sit in at the Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight on Friday August 7th. The picket of the factory will continue indefinitely.