6 Aug 2009

Vestas: bailiffs go in tomorrow

If you haven't taken action on Vestas please consider it - see here. I sent support to Vestas on behalf of the six Green party Stroud District councillors with a comment along the lines of.... the government found millions for the car industry and the banks - now it's time for them to invest just a fraction of that in saving this factory, the 600 jobs, and our hopes of developing viable low-carbon energy.

The Guardian report today that bailiffs are going in to remove the six workers staging the sit-in tomorrow, Friday. I wish I could join the Vesta workers tomorrow, but work commitments don't allow - however I know there looks set to be large numbers of supporters - if you can join them please do!!

As reported previously this company is closing the factory despite rising profits and has taken a threatening line towards workers protesting to save their jobs. In their response to me and others who wrote our government says the blades aren't the right specification for Europe. If that is the case surely we must not lose the local expertise that's been built on. Gordon Brown talks about green jobs, but where is the action? It seems to be more coal and more nukes - in contracts Green party policies would create a million new jobs in real green industries.
"Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down the largest wind turbine factory in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3bn in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry. They can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need to prevent a climate catastrophe." Phil Thornhill, of the Campaign Against Climate Change
There have been demonstrations outside the DECC offices in London - MEP Jean Lambert and Darren Johnson were among Greens who spoke there. Also Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MEP, in whose constituency the factory is located, has also sent a message of support to workers and spoken out against the proposed closure. Caroline Lucas is also to submit an urgent proposal to the Leader of the Isle of Wight Council for support for a workers co-op at the Vestas wind turbine manufacturing plant to be established under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 - see here and here.

“The blame rests firmly with the Government on this one. Archaic planning laws have stunted the growth of our wind industry - keeping projects stuck in planning hell for years on end. Mr Miliband has today reassured us all that these laws are changing ... but they are not, the changes he refers to are only for big projects – over 50MWs – and that’s not where the problem is. Mr Miliband must know this. This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Government – just as they promise us a ‘green revolution’. It’s truly ridiculous to close this factory now - the thousands of windmills we need to install in Britain in the next few years should be built here. We need windmills and we need new green jobs - but we don;t seem able to even keep the green jobs we already have. That's the reality behind the policy rhetoric. My thoughts are with the workers at Vestas Isle of Wight factory. I hope they win through and hasten the day when we'll be able to install turbines in Britain that are made in Britain.” Dale Vince of Ecotricity

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

See:
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/08/435701.html

Also thanks for support of Greens esp Oxford Green party

Philip Booth said...

This video has lots of voices talking about why everyone should be
considering going to their nearest Climate Camp this year:

http://www.envirospeak.tv/video/375

Philip Booth said...

From Vestas campaign website:

The eviction has taken place http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/8189278.stm but it is only the start of our battle for jobs and for the planet!

Philip Booth said...

Wind turbine manufacturing will not return to the Isle of Wight before 2015 because the UK is not building windfarms quickly enough to justify it, according to a senior Vestas executive. Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, the executive, from a UK division of the Danish-based turbine manufacturer, pointed out that other countries, such as China and Spain, require windfarms built there to use locally made components. Had such rules existed in the UK, Vestas's Isle of Wight factory the only turbine plant in England would have been saved from closure.

Guardian 8th Aug 2009

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/aug/07/vestas-wind-farms-turbines