Vestas closed the UK's only wind turbine blade factories, on the Isle of Wight, in August 2009. Workers occupied the factory, then picketed. This blog is a history of that dispute and of the ongoing campaign for green jobs.
Published: October 26 2010 15:01 | Last updated: October 26 2010 16:30
Ditlev Engel, the chief executive of Vestas, quietly thinks his company has never been more strongly positioned than now. That may seem strange. The world’s largest maker of wind turbines on Tuesday unveiled a loss of €0.37 per share for the nine months to September, and announced a 15 per cent reduction in the workforce. The company blames the 3,000 staff cuts on a gloomy industry outlook. It says it expects next year’s orders to be one-eighth less than the 8,000-9,000 megawatts worth of turbines it is counting on for 2010.
But the expectation of falling orders cannot easily be squared with another: the company expects at least to maintain market share in a growing global wind power industry. Nomura expects an almost 15 per cent increase in global installations in 2011 – double-digit growth in the Americas and Asia, where more than half Vestas’ orders originate. In Europe, the UK and Germany will pick up some of the slack from the recession and reduced subsidies in countries such as Spain.
Vestas Blades UK made production workers at their factories on the Isle of Wight redundant on 12 August 2009. More than 500 jobs were lost. Many more jobs that depend on Vestas will follow. This makes no sense from a green or a labour perspective!
At the same time, the government announced a major expansion of renewable energy including wind power. We are calling on the government to intervene to save jobs at companies like Vestas - through nationalisation if that is what it takes - to show that it is serious about saving the planet.
What you can do
Hardship fund for sacked and redundant Vestas workers
Send a donation from your trade union or other organisation, or make a personal donation. Cheques payable to RMT IOW 2 Vestas hardship & defence fund, and send to Keith Murphy, 57 Well Street, Ryde, IOW PO33 2RY.
Actions & meetings
Wednesday 17 February
NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT 7pm, Save Our Services public meeting, called by Unison, but open to all who want to campaign against the proposed cuts to council and all jobs and services. Venue: Hunnyhill Room, The Riverside Centre, The Quay, Newport, Isle of Wight.