Monday, 20 July 2009

Vestas - another occupation!

I've just heard that workers at the Vestas wind-turbine factory in the Isle of Wight have gone into occupation against the plan to close the plant and make the workers redundant at the end of the month.

The workers are demanding that Gordon Brown steps in (as if it were a troubled bank) to save the jobs so they can keep making wind turbine blades. If Brown doesn't save these 600 existing "green jobs" he won't have any credibility talking about creating 40,000 new ones.

Apparently there is a large solidarity picket starting outside the factory.

Please send messages of support to

After the progress made by occupations at Waterford and Visteon, let's make sure that Vestas workers get the support they need to win.


Ian said...

I've just been sent a link to a web site for the campaign:

Ian said...

Early BBC coverage of the Vestas occupation.

Jim Denham said...

Unite had about 20 members at Vestas. The rest of the plant was non-union. Because of lack of support from Unite, Bob crow has been able to muscle in and recuit them to the RMT.

Les Bayliss, apparently, justified the lack of support saying, "there are only twenty members in there."

What a disgrace!

Anonymous said...

Jim, I am no fan of Bayliss, I am more of a Paul supporter, but if this is true, Bayliss is partly correct.
Turning non-members into paying members for short term monetary gain is not really the issue, it is about the long term benefits through organising and educating people into how they can organise their own workplace in an attempt to stop this sort of thing happening in the first place.
In some workplaces we have almost in-filled to full membership, but some non members who are constantly asked to join, still refuse to do so as they assume that they can choose to join on the back of an individual issue and then get support and legal advice.
This is unfair to those trade unionists that have already joined and have been members for more than 26 weeks before an issue arises. I don’t accept the argument “well I wasn’t asked” most working people know that trade unions exist and have the ability to seek out ways to join them.
The lesson here is to make sure that your own workplace is fully organised, don’t rely on anyone else to do that for you, do it yourself, and don’t incentivise people not to join a union in the belief that they only have to join when something happens and all will turn out well in the end.
If Unite’s 20 members were not getting support from Unite, its members, activists, staff and officers, and the rest of the trade union movement, then that would be a disgrace…
Finally, never forget, any union is not, and never should be about the sole behaviour of one senior officer…
Micra Man

Ian said...

I'm not commenting on "the Bayliss debate" as I've no idea what he did or didn't say.

But when a group of workers have the guts to stand up and fight for their jobs and the planet, we should support them, whether they have been in our union, another union, or no union.

Solidarity is how unions get built.

This is totally different to a situation where a long-standing non-member in an organised workplace expects "the union" to solve their problems for them without them lifting a finger. This is about workers standing up for themselves and needing our support.

If Vestas win, we will all be stronger.