The Isle of Wight Country Press carried an article recently claiming that people who are still working for Vestas on the Isle of Wight have been intimidated by supporters of the ex-workers’ campaign against the company.
The Vestas Workers’ Committee has sent a letter to the paper denying the claim. And their side of the story is finally being aired in the editorial, but only at the end of a long article outlining the cost of policing the protest.
No one was worrying about the cost of policing the protest when the campaign had national headlines. Almost everyone, including Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel, used the brave action of a few men to make the case for wind energy; the climate change minister Joan Ruddock hoped the men would not be penalised for taking a stand for jobs and renewable energy.
But the occupation did not prevent Vestas shutting down production, laying off 525 workers, and the blockade has not won back the redundancy pay of those who were sacked in the occupation. Nothing succeeds like success, and some people have been quick to turn their backs on those who seem to have lost.
Was the fight just or not? If it was just, why are the protesters getting the blame for the policing bill? Surely Vestas and the government are to blame for that, as they are to blame for terminating 525 jobs in the renewable energy sector.
The consolation is held out that the MP and councillors will meet with Ed Miliband on 15 October to talk about attracting more green jobs to the Isle of Wight. Have people not heard the phrase ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?’