International support

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Solidarity is international. (This picture of Palestinian children with a sign saying 'Solidarity with Vestas - from Palestine' was not submitted with the message from Sawt el-Amel below but seems appropriate here.)

Solidarity is international. (This picture of Palestinian children with a sign saying 'Solidarity with Vestas - from Palestine' was not submitted with the message from Sawt el-Amel below but seems appropriate here.)

Solidarity greetings from Nazareth! Sawt el-Amel fully supports your struggle to keep the jobs at Vestas and applauds your courageous action to occupy the factory. 
Sawt el-Amel is an independent organisation founded and led by Palestinian workers and unemployed. We defend and promote the rights of Arab citizens in Israel to work and social security. 
Wehbe Badarne, Director, on behalf of Sawt el-Amel team and members,

We are part of PSTU (Socialist Workers Party unified, aronym in portuguese) and are activists in a small town in the state of Sao Paulo, wich is called Barretos.
We would like to tell you that we´re following your daily struggle with pride and admiration, and the example of your struggle in Europe inspires us all to confront the imperialism in Latin America. Continue forward, comrades. Until socialism. Until victory.
PSTU – Barretos,

Worker of Vestas, build a cooperative an run your company on your own ! Instead of letting the government run your company, run it yourself !
This functions in many other countries (like Spain, France and Italy, but even more in Brasil and Argentina). Demand government support for this takeover. You know your plant and can run it ! Get help from the unions and from cooperative-organisations !
Giuliana Giorgi, Germany

I am part of a coaliton here in Toronto, made up of grass-roots labour, environmental and anti-poverty groups organizing a Green Jobs conference in November.
It has been my pleasure to keep my coalition partners up-to-date with events at Newport, and the reaction has been very strong and positive. I will take these materials to our organizing meeting tomorrow evening. We are a long way away but we keenly feel that your struggle is ours as well.
On behalf of the Green Jobs Coaliton, and of the Toronto Climate Campaign that I represent within that coalition, keep up the pressure. And give our regards to the people, inside the Vestas plant and out, who made this occupation an inspiration to our work here in Canada.
John Bell

Solidarity greetings from the Socialist Youth of Graz, Austria. Our council yesterday night decided wholehearted to support your struggle. Your struggle is an inspiration for all the workers of the world. Stay strong! In solidarity,
Socialist Youth of Graz

Hi there! My name’s Patrick, and I’m from Wollongong, in Australia. The student union at my university has decided to donate $100 to the Vestas workers. It’s great to see the unification of the workers’ and environmental movements, and ordinary people taking a stand when governments refuse to act. Up the Vestas workers!

i work by vestas  too but in germany and i will tell you my deepest respeckt for this steadfastness. my collegs and me have hear the problems in the factory isle of wight and we were shoked and wish you all the best for fight against unemployment because we all work very hard every day and nobody can say simply STOP!!!! you must go!! please fights further for  your quite on work and future!!!! my colleagues  and me stand behind you. thanx for that read my message. friendly greets from germany…

Solidarity greetings from demonstration of supporters of Schlecker workers in the town of Gross Bieberau in Hesse, Germany.

Yesterday 150 inhabitants of this small town were on the streets protesting at the planned closure of a drug store “Schlecker” and the reopening of a much larger new XL-Schlecker just down the street.

None of the existing staff of four female workers will be given a chance to apply for a job at the new Schlecker. One of the workers has been on the job for 22 years. She is now 61 years old and has absolutely no chance to obtain a new job anywhere.

The new jobs at XL-Schlecker will be paying well below union rates and no workers’ representatives will be allowed. This is going back to the beginning of the 90s – it took the union over ten years of campaigning to obtain union representation.

This applies to Schlecker Germany-wide. At the beginning of this year Mr. Anton Schlecker and his family business owned over 10,000 shops around the country. He has since closed down 600 of them and thrown 2000 workers on the streets. All in all 12,000 workers face redundancy.

The feeling at the demonstration yesterday was one of anger. On the part of trade unionists, and also on the part of customers. In interviews for the regional tv one customer after another said they would never go to Schlecker again for their shopping. They knew the workers personally, had even befriended them, and were completely on their side.

When I got up and told of the Vestas occupation and how, in spite of police cordons and steel fences food is being brought in to you, and trade unionists not only in Britain, but also from Vestas Copenhagen and occupying autoworkers in South Korea were on your side, I got a solid round of applause.

We wish you all the success you deserve in your fight for jobs and for a better and cleaner environment for our children.

David Paenson, Trade Union ver.di (Unison), Frankfurt, Germany

Dear Comrades,
As the maritime union of australia delegate on the Anchor Handling Tug “Ark Sydney” in the port of Eden,New South Wales,we want you to know that your battle is ours.Keep your heroic fight going !!!
– in solidarity, bob carnegie

I fully support the workers of the Vestas factory in Newport. Your struggle is every workers’ struggle and it is of special importance due to the environmental crisis caused by capitalism as it reveals the lies of the governments who say they want to support “green jobs”.
Stefan Berg, shop steward at Blå Stjärnans Animal Hospital Gothenburg, Sweden

I would like to forward my support for your important struggle. Long live the Vestas workers !
Michael Löwy, ecosocialist, Paris, France

Thanks to Christian Bunke, we have a petition [in pdf in our inbox] signed by trade union activists in the German city of Stuttgart. All of those who signed the petition are active trade union militants who learned about the Balcony Boys’ courageous struggle through an article Bunke wrote recently for the German socialist daily newspaper “Junge Welt”. These activists met at a meeting titled “we won’t pay for your crisis” in order to discuss how to organise resistance against the way bosses pass down the onslaught created by this crisis onto working people.
The written text of the petition reads: “Solidarity with the factory occupation of the Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight: On July 20th, workers employed by the Danish owned Vestas company occupied the factory on the Isle of Wight. This factory was to be shut down on July 31st. This would have led to 600 people loosing their job. The occupiers demand nationalisation of their factory, as the government has done with the banks. Numerous trade unionists and environmentalists support the occupation. A court decision regarding the occupation was delayed until August 5th.
– We fully support the occupation and demand that the British government acts to fulfil the occupiers wishes and nationalises the factory in the interest of the environment and the jobs being currently at risk.
– We demand that Vestas re-instates all workers in occupation who have been sacked. We further demand that Vestas stops all judicial measures against the occupation.
– We demand that the British government won’t persecute any participants in the occupation./”
Among the signatories on this petition, there are members of the German Communist Party; shop stewards of the IG Metall, the German manufacturing workers union; shop stewards of Ver.di, the German public and service sector union; members of SAV: Sozialistische Alternative, the German sister organisation of the Socialist Party in England and Wales; members of the Linksjugend, a German left wing, socialist youth organisation which is politically close to the Left Party; members of the Left Party; activists in a school student network against education cuts; pensioners; members of NGG, the German food workers trade union; unemployed trade unionists.

Brothers and sisters: I write as chair of the Toronto Climate Campaign, a coalition of environmental activists and trade unionists in Canada’s industrial heartland. We know the fight for a sustainable future must be connected with the fight for good, green jobs. On every level it is utter madness to shut down a workplace like yours. Nor is yours simply a local struggle – if you win, it will inspire our campaigns here. Please know that we will spread the word about your occupation, and send our solidarity and support.
– John Bell, Toronto Climate Campaign

This is important for two reasons: empowering labour, as well as for environmental impact. I have full solidarity with your efforts, and I know many other people do as well. Please continue and remain committed to your peaceful occupation of the factory!
– Maribel, Michael and the whole staff of the Environmental Film Festival in Washington DC, USA

Let me say how heartening, inspiring and amazing your work is. From Coal River Mountain Watch, an organization that acts to protect the mountains and people of West Virginia, USA from the ravages of strip mining thank you for efforts.
– Joe Rinehart

The political organization “Ecosocialists Greece”, member of SYRIZA coalition, totally supports your efforts and we hope strongly to your success. Your victory will inspire the international struggle of the workers of the world. Salute Comrades.
– Tasos Pantazidis, Secretary of the Executive Committee of “Ecosocialists Greece”

since more then 35 years (!) I visit the Isle of Wight regularly. I like your Isle. I like the people from the Isle of Wight very much. And I know: the workers of this Isle have the right to own this fabric! Protect your fabric! You need no capitalism! Manage this fabric in your own leadership! You do not need any “chefs”.
– Red greetings from Bonn, Germany, Wolfgang Huste

Greetings from Newcastle, Australia.
We have attached some photos of a solidarity action we held today at the University of Newcastle with members of the Students’ Association (
Here in the world’s biggest coal port we understand the urgent need for a transition to renewable energy. We are very inspired by your stuggle for workers’ rights and the planet.
Keep up the fight! In solidarity,
– Newcastle Uni students

Newcastle, Australia students

Newcastle, Australia students


Visit the site of the Stella d’Oro strike in New York City – they have a picture of Vestas occupation and message of support:

Dear Vestas workers: We are inspired by your action to defend your jobs. Your jobs, making wind turbines are worth saving not only because you need jobs, but because we need renewable energy. We will make sure that Australian trade unionists and environmentalists hear about your campaign, and organise support for you. Many Australians know people living in the UK and we will ask Australians supporters spread the word back to the UK too.
– In solidarity, Janet Burstall, for Workers Liberty Australia

Bonjour: nous soutenons totalement votre combat contre la délocalisation de votre usine et pour la nationalisation de celle-ci.
Les secteurs répondant à des besoins essentiels, comme l’energie, doivent appartenir à la collectivité et non aux intérêts privés. En France comme ailleurs, la libéralisation du secteur de l’Energie est une catastrophe qui se traduit par la suppression de postes, le développement de la sous-traitance, la dégradation des conditions de travail, des hausses de prix sur le marché dérégulé, la dégradation des services rendus (ex : augmentation des délais d’intervention, fermeture progressive de quasiment toutes les agences de proximité), une désoptimisation du système …
C’est pourquoi nous nous battons pour la renationalisation de ce secteur et pour une coopération européenne, dans un soucis de respect de l’environnement.
– Pour la Fédération SUD Energie: Anne Debrégeas, Yann Cochin

Dear Comrades,
I wrote a few words in support for your protest:
Bartlomiej Kozek, the secretary general of Polish Greens, joins in this support. so you can read it as a voice form both of us. with best regards,
– Adam Ostolski – witryna KP – notatki nie/polityczne

A new blog about our campaign has sprouted in Germany! Power to the German comrades!

“Hello to all of our brothers and sisters at Vestas,
It is an honor for us to support you through your struggle for dignity and fairness in your workplace. We must all stand together in this struggle to regain our ability to maintain a decent standard of living for all people wherever they may be. Please stay strong and remain committed to show solidarity even in the most difficult of times.
In Solidarity,
– Joyce Alston, President, BCTGM Local 50”

Hace poco, en el Perú, ecologistas indígenas fueron masacrados por el gobierno defensor de grandes empresas multinacionales depredadoras de la selva amazónica.
Eso nos ha sacudido y hecho más sensibles ante cualquier acto de depredación de la naturaleza y más solidarios con quienes defienden la salud del planeta en cualquier parte del mundo.
Por eso ahora nos solidarizamos plenamente con los trabajadores de la fábrica Vestas Wind Turbine en la Isla de Wight que han ocupado la fábrica.
Pedimos a quienes se encuentran más cerca que nosotros, que levantamos la voz desde el otro lado del océano, que apoyen en todas las formas necesarias a esos obreros.
Exprésenles la gratitud que les debemos todos los habitantes del planeta.
– Hugo Blanco, Director de “Lucha Indígena”

Hi folks
We need wind power and we need a variety of wind power makers at work! Do please save the Vestas factory.
– Rhys Taylor, Christchurch 8023 New Zealand.

From Australia, Green Left Weekly sends our solidarity with your struggle for green jobs and a safe climate. We need more jobs like those at Vestas, not less. Closure of the plant makes absolutely no sense on economic or ecological grounds. We can halt climate change if we take emergency action and force governments to invest heavily in renewable energy. And a green economy will be job-rich.
But if the decisions about our future are left in the hands of the big party politicians and companies like Vestas, we don’t have a hope. Thank you for standing up and defending your families, your community and the future of the planet in such an inspirational way. Countless people around the world are watching on in support and gratitude.
In solidarity,
– Simon Butler (for the Green Left Weekly team),

If I wasn’t away I would be down on the Isle of Wight in a flash.
With the threat of climate change looming, closing down a factory that makes wind turbines is crazy and loosing 600 jobs in the green sector is a disgrace.
Ed Miliband and the rest of labour are a fucking waste of space. We need people to run our country who are going to put the needs of the people before profit and to build our society based on social needs.
The government has failed us too many times, direct action is increasingly the only solution left.
Keep going everyone!!! I can not mention in words the impact you are going to have from occupying the factory. This is more than just an occupation, its a demonstration of freedom, a stand against the government and an action for all the children in third world countries that are going to be left starving and homeless because of the effects of climate change.
Save Vestas!!!!
– Alex Fountain

Rostock July 23rd, 2009
Solidarity with the workers of Vestas Factory on the Isle of Wight
I am member of the Socialist Alternative (SAV)/CWI-Germany and city councillor of Rostock. I have heard from your struggle for jobs so I want to send you my support. The occupation of the Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight is the only way to save the jobs. But you should keep in mind that if the private owner is not willing to save your jobs, your plant should be nationalised. You – the workers – should take over the plant under democratic control and management.
As far as I am concerned, I will do everything to make your fight for your jobs public in Rostock. We are facing the closure of the ship yards at the moment and the loss of about 2500 jobs. So your fight can be seen as an example for the workers here in Rostock, too.
Fighting against job losses and workplace closures is a vital part of campaigning against unemployment also in Rostock, Germany. The Vestas workers, together with those involved in the Lindsey Oil Refinery and Visteon struggles are setting an important example.
I fully support your struggle and will aim to build solidarity. I will do my best to get support especially from union activists.
– Christine Lehnert Member of the City Council in Rostock

Streiken für die Umwelt
– Wolfgang Pomrehn 22.07.2009

Die Energie- und Klimawochenschau: Mit einer Betriebsbesetzung kämpfen britische Arbeiter für Jobs und Umwelt, während in den USA neuartige Solarkraftwerke gebaut werden.

Ihre Produkte sind zukunftsweisend, aber das heißt für die Beschäftigten der Wind- und Solarindustrie noch nicht unbedingt, dass in ihren Betrieben immer eitel Sonnenschein herrscht. Untertarifliche Bezahlung ist gar nicht so selten, Betriebsräte werden mitunter massiv bekämpft und auch Betriebsschließungen sind trotz globalen Booms hier und da durchaus möglich.

Zum Beispiel bei unseren Nachbarn in Großbritannien und Dänemark: Der dänische Weltmarktführer unter den Windanlagenherstellern [extern] Vestas kämpft daheim mit der Verhinderungspolitik einer rechtsliberalen Regierung, die schon vor Jahren den weiteren Ausbau der Windenergie zum Erliegen gebracht hat. Erst in jüngster Zeit, man möchte schließlich im Vorfeld des Kopenhagener Klimagipfels doch noch ein wenig glänzen, werden wieder [local] neue Projekte in Angriff genommen. Dennoch musste Vestas Anfang des Jahres ein großes dänisches Werk schließen und 1200 Arbeiter entlassen.

Ähnlich sieht es in Großbritannien aus, wo eine starke Industrielobby Front gegen die erneuerbaren Energieträger macht ([local] Entweder Atomkraftwerke oder Erneuerbare Energien?). Dort haben am Montag Angestellte ein Bürogebäude der Vestas-Fabrik auf der südenglischen Isle of Wight besetzt. Wie der Guardian [extern] berichtet, fordern sie von der Regierung, den Betrieb zu übernehmen, nachdem Vestas im April die Schließung und Entlassung von 525 Mitarbeitern angekündigt hatte. Auch eine kleinere Fertigung im nahegelegenen Southampton mit 100 Beschäftigten soll geschlossen werden.

Außerhalb von Großbritannien und Dänemark expandiert das Unternehmen hingegen stark. In letzter Zeit hat es verschiedene neue Produktionsstätten in den USA und China eröffnet oder mit deren Bau begonnen. Im ersten Quartal 2009 stieg der globale Umsatz nach Angaben des Guardians um 59 Prozent auf 1,1 Milliarden Euro. Gegen den Standort Großbritannien spreche jedoch neben dem schwachen Pfund “ein Fehlen politischer Initiativen”. “Im Vereinigten Königreich”, zitiert das Blatt den Vestas-Vorstandsvorsitzenden Ditlev Engel, “ist der Nimbyismus [Not In My Back Yard] eine große Herausforderung.”

Die [extern] protestierenden Arbeiter sehen derweil vor allem ihre Regierung in London in der Verantwortung. Es sei verrückt, dass der Umweltminister Ed Miliband eine Ankündigung nach der anderen über “grüne Energie” und “grüne Arbeitsplätze” mache, aber diese Fabrik geschlossen werde. “Es wäre nur ein kleiner finanzieller Schritt, sie offen zu halten, aber es würde ein deutliches Zeichen für eine ‘grüne Wirtschaft’ gesetzt”, sagte einer der Besetzer der Zeitung. [extern] Umweltschutzgruppen schlossen sich den Forderungen der Arbeiter an.

– From: A.Passadakis

Date: Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 11:22 AM
Subject: Solidarity

Dear workers of Vestas, dear comrades,
we hope your are in good spirits, that support from outside is growing and that you push on!
We call ourselves Gegenstrom („countercurrent“), an activist group for climate justice in Berlin/Germany ( We consider ourselves to be part of the international climate camp movement, which started in the UK in 2005. Thus we are happy to be inspired by struggles from British Isles again. Your
collective action is a huge encouragement to those who believe, that the way forward to social and climate justice will have to be brought about by people taking their own life in their hands.
We hope you succeed to continue the production under public and worker’s control.
Right on!
GegenstromBerlinStuttgart union petition for Vestas


  1. […] Vindkraft, Vindkraftverk | Leave a Comment  English summary: 30 labour and climate activists protested yesterday at Vestas northern European headquarter against the closure of the Newport plant. Vestas […]

  2. Protest in Sweden:

  3. I have passed the info on to Verdi Livorno in Italy..also there was a supportive article in IL MANIFESTO last week.

  4. there is now a blog with translations from this webpage into German – – and an article on Indymedia Germany:

  5. Two messages from Australia:


    Solidarity greetings from Climate Action Canberra
    The wind turbines produced by Vestas are a key part of the solution to the problem of climate change – but so are fair outcomes for workers. Our job of creating a sustainable world is made that much harder if we are unable to convince the workers of old polluting industries that they will have guaranteed, local and well-paid jobs in new green industries.

    The failure of Vestas management and the UK government to support the jobs of 600 workers in these industries is a setback to the transition the planet needs, and a slap in the face for those who actually built the turbines that made Vestas the profitable company it is today.

    Climate Action Canberra, one of hundreds of Australian community climate action groups, supports the campaign for the Vestas plant to be nationalised and for production to continue. We here in drought-stricken and bushfire-prone Australia understand the importance of the work you do in creating the solutions to the climate emergency we all face, and wish you well.

    For a safe climate and for the rights of renewable energy workers,
    Climate Action Canberra

    * * *

    Resistance statement of solidarity with Vestas workers

    Resistance, an Australia-wide socialist youth organisation, sends greetings and solidarity to the workers occupying the Vestas plant on the Isle of Wight and join the calls of protest against Vestas’ decision to close down the wind turbine factory.

    This decision is clearly a case of corporate greed being placed ahead of the needs of workers, the community, and the environment on which we all depend. As companies and governments around the world state that action on climate change can only come at the expense of the economy, this decision highlights that what is meant by the economy is profits for the corporate elite. This green industry has provided hundreds of jobs for the people of the Isle of Wight and supported thousands more indirectly and we need to open more factories like it, not close them down, to make a safe climate future possible.

    Resistance supports calls for Gordon Brown’s Labour government to step in and nationalise the Vestas factory. The twin crises the world now faces – the economic crisis and the ecological crisis – both have their roots in the greedy exploitation and profiteering of the free market. What is clearly needed is massive government investment in renewable energy, supporting green jobs and beginning the transition to a low-carbon economy.

    Resistance support the demands of the workers and calls for immediate trade union recognition, nationalisation of the factory under the control of the workers, and making the plant a building block for a green energy revolution. We add our support to the trade unions, fellow workers and general public who have rallied to save the workers and save the planet.

  6. At all costs keep the occupation going! – If people are inside the factory – the solidarity will continue. Direct action inspires action!

  7. Vielleicht kann Suzlon Indien die Fabrik aufkaufen. Ihr solltet direkt Tulsi R. Tanti anschreiben.

    [I looked up Tulsi R Tanti on Wikipedia – they call him ‘Wind Man’ – hmm? – note by Vicki]

  8. Here is a link to a danish support-site:

  9. Greetings of solidarity from Denmark goes out to the brave workers from Vestas.

    Lars – Enhedslisten Denmark

  10. Occupation 67 days, chimney top protest 76 days!
    From Ssangyong Motor workers occupying the Pyeongtaek plant in solidarity with Vestas workers for victory
    Ssangyong Motor workers are in struggle hard and rightly against the Lee Myung-bak government’s flexible labor policy. At the center of flexible labor policy is the ‘gate to hell’ consists of dismissal, early retirement, dividing the company, outsourcing, and reshuffling. All meant to destroy worker’s right to live.
    The reason we are fighting hard and rightly is simple. Dismissal is murder and we are struggling to stop this murderous act. Our confidence and commitment are soaring high like a rocket because everyone knows we are doing the right thing. We will never be defeated.
    Ssangyong Motor workers will continue to firmly struggle until there is no such thing as redundancy dismissal. We would like to comradely thank for your solidarity and wish you all victory.
    28 July 2009

    Updates on Ssangyong Motor workers’ strike

    The management of Ssangyong Motor announced that it has dismissed 1,670 workers through forced early retirement and will carry out redundancy dismissal of 976 workers. Starting 21 May, Ssangyong Motor Branch of the Metal Workers Union struck to present day.
    Currently more than 1,000 trade unionists, family members of dismissed workers, and supporters are occupying the plant and its surrounding. Trade union members suffering from psychological and physical pains caused by dismissal are now occupying and living inside the plant to carry out the struggle in desperation for survival.
    Civic groups and political parties, both ruling and opposition parties, want peaceful resolution through dialogue and not through violent police raid in the name of state intervention. There were two attempts of dialogue in 18 and 19 June between the management and workers. The workers demanded no redundancy dismissal while the management stated that redundancy dismissal is the precondition for any resolution. The dialogue is not in full stop.
    On 16 June and 23 June, the management sent hired thugs and closed all the gates so nothing and no one could go into the plant. It is threatening to raid the plant. On 26 and 27 June, the hired thugs attempted to break into the plant inciting the workers who have been stressed out both psychologically and physically due to 35 days of occupation. The management without shame also cut internet connection and water to the plant where more than 1,000 workers are occupying.
    The trade union proposed to bargain with the government and not the court assigned management that has limited decision making power. However, the government has not responded so far. 
    The trade union issued a statement saying the government’s neglect and the offensive position of the management are dragging the dispute further worsening the situations for not only the Ssangyong Motor workers and families but also auto-parts company partners and economic crisis and an appeal to stop immediately the plan to randomly dismiss the workers. 

  11. Thank you for your courage & leadership! You ARE the green jobs revolution! Solidarity!

    Public D
    Flint, MI

  12. Interesting turn of events. American workers are willing to provide labor more cost effectively than their European counterparts. Living in Brighton, Colorado, I would say that this company moving jobs offshore is just good, friendly competition.

    • The issue isn’t that they are building a manufacturing base in the USA, but more that the commitment to building windfarms is spoken as the must do thing by the UK Government, only for them to allow the very facility on their doorstep they need, to go to the wall. There’s plenty of work to go round, sadly the amount of commitment to the UK’s contribution to the global problem is woefully lacking. Power to the People.

  13. statement of the Red Green Alliance from Denmark:øtter-besættelse-af-vestas-på-isle-wrigth

  14. Both I and my girlfriend work for Vestas on the Isle of Wight and are both due to lose our jobs. I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the support we have received from around the world, it’s amazing to read your messages and it helps keep us going.


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