Socialist Worker

Vestas occupation ends but the struggle continues

by Siân Ruddick in Newport, Isle of Wight
Issue No. 2163

The Vestas occupation ended just after noon today after two and a half weeks when bailiffs went into the factory to enforce an eviction order. The defiant workers who had been sitting-in to save their plant and jobs were given a heroes’ welcome by their hundreds of supporters outside the factory. The workers have vowed to fight on.

Ian, one of the occupiers, said, “It was worth all of the sacrifices. I would definitely do it all again. I anyone’s got a spare factory going, let me know because I’ll come and occupy it. I’m going to get a bit homesick now, I’ll miss it in there. This was just the beginning. Onwards to stage two.”

Jamie, another of the occupiers, said, “It was all worthwhile.”

It emerged in talks yesterday that the government had offered a number of rescue deals to save the plant, but Vestas had refused each one. This is despite New Labour ministers stating that they would not intervene.

Vestas workers and their supporters have called a protest for tomorrow to step up the pressure on the government to act. This is to be held at 1pm in St Thomas Square in Newport. A national day of action for Vestas is to take place on Wednesday of next week.

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