Hail to all Champions of Solidarity, especially “the Boys on the Balcony”.
Hello everyone, my name is John, and I am a proud father and grandfather within the community of the Isle of Wight. When Luke, partner to my daughter Hannah, and some of his colleagues at Vestas began their sit-in to rightly fight for their jobs, I had no hesitation in showing solidarity for my family and their struggle. From the first day, I was awe struck by the show of solidarity locally, nationally, and from around the world. Not just from families, vestas workers, and members of the community, but also from a number of idealogically diverse groups.
Solidarity strengthens communities, and action through solidarity empowers us all!
At the heart of this matter are 650 working tax payers who are being scrapped due to an “alledged” insufficiency in orders for wind turbines in the UK and Europe. Why then did Centrica recently place a £1 billion order for wind turbines with german manufacturer Siemans to supply the Skegness Wind Farm? The Vestas plants have proven to be highly profitable, for a highly profitable company. Yet Vestas has resisted all attempts to keep the plants in production, prefering to move production to the US, while mothballing their UK production facilities, until they decide the UK market is viable and production can begin again. They claim to be “following the market” but of course we know they mean they are “following the profit”, whilst at the same time trying to control the market by controlling the ownership of manufacturing resources.
They already tried this in Scotland, but the Scottish government manged to broker a takeover, thereby saving the resources and the all important skills. However the UK labour government has tried to wash their hands of the controversy here as they don’t want to compromise their market forces principles. The party that used to represent working people also claims to have a green agenda, but states that it does not want to be producers of wind turbines. Yet they want them, some 4,000 onshore and another 3,000 offshore in fact. In the light of all this, it is staggering that the government won’t pull out all the stops to prevent the closure of this country’s only wind turbine production facility. Furthermore, the government gave vestas a considerable handshake to encourage them to begin production here, and has now given them an even larger handshake to build an R & D plant, inspite of “moving production” to the US, and possibly with similar “incentives”. Such outrageous misuse of public money, and the subsequent discarding of human resources, with government complicity – MUST NOT BE TOLERATED!
By coming together in solidarity, we are strong and can fight back. Where there are protests, get involved and exercise your legal right to take part in peaceful demonstrations, sign petitions, and write to your MP. We may live in a multi-cultural, multi-ideological society, but there is often common ground in the wider aspects of our concerns and interests. Talk to you family and friends, your colleagues, people in cafes and bars. Come together in solidarity and we will make a difference. Victory to the Vestas workers and to others who have taken up the fight.
– John Short, proud family man, and supporter of the Vestas workers’ right to work