Posted by: vickim57 | 21 August 2009

Vestas, IoW update: picketing, Climate Camp, and now Vestas-sponsored academies!

Martin reports:

The Vestas wind turbine blade workers’ campaign for their factories, their jobs, and green-energy production in Britain continues with a rally and march on 22 August in Sandown, 13:00 from the Pier.

The next national day of solidarity action is 17 September. A planning meeting for that day is set for Thursday 27 August, 7.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall, Quay Street, Newport.

Meanwhile picketing continues at the front and back gates of the Vestas St Cross factory, and was due to start today, Friday 21 August, at the Venture Quays factory. “Clean-up teams” are at work in the factories.

Vestas workers will have a presence at Climate Camp 2009 (26 August to 2 September, somewhere inside the M25) and at the “peace, jobs, education” demonstration called (initially by the college lecturers’ union UCU) for the first day of Labour Party conference, Saturday 27 September in Brighton.

Another front has been opened by the involvement of Vestas Technology in a plan to transform almost all the Isle of Wight’s schools into Academies.

In a letter endorsing the Academies bid, Vestas Technology boss Rob Sauven says:

“(We are) committed to helping raise educational standards on the Island and to supporting sustainable schools. We would in particular like to encourage the education curriculum to further students’ understanding of the planet from the sustainability perspective and to explore the options we have to live sustainably.”

Wouldn’t schools, and the island economy, be more sustainable if Vestas handed over the blade factories to the Government and let the Government make the necessary investment to enable green-energy production to continue on the island and students to have a better chance of a green job to go to?

According to local Labour councillor Geoff Lumley, the front-runner in a “competition” organised by the Isle of Wight’s Tory council is the Academies Enterprise Trust, an organisation with charitable status endorsed by Vestas Technology, with a scheme to establish an island “Academy Trust” which will manage the great majority of the island’s schools, secondary and primary, as Academies under its umbrella – “federation of seven schools, consisting of five academies, from the five high schools, and the two primary clusters. These seven institutions will be brought under a single island based management structure”.

In its pitch, the AET lists its “local partners” as “Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry, Isle of Wight College, Primary Care Trust, UKSA , Quay Arts, Quarr Group, and Vestas Technology UK”.

As of present, Geoff Lumley says, he is an opposition of one on the council to the Academies scheme, but Vestas workers and supporters plan to add their voice. The full council meeting to make the final decision on Academies is 30 September, 18:00 in the Council Chamber at Newport.



  1. Diabolical – only because the boss of Vestas is involved with the school changes on the island !!

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