Socialist Worker

Vestas protesters occupy barge in Southampton

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2169

Workers and campaigners against the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight have chained themselves to cranes and boarded a barge in Southampton docks.

The activists launched the protests by powerboat, using the Southampton boat show as cover. They plan to stay and try to stop Vestas from shipping any more wind turbine blades. The company has a stockpile of hundreds of blades in a warehouse in Southampton.

Some of the protesters are attempting to stop a crane loading the blades on to a ship for export, while others are occupying the “blade runner” barge, which is used to bring blades from the factory to the docks.

Vestas worker Jamie Rigby said: “The plan is to bring the crane to a halt and cause as much disruption as possible and stop the blades being shipped to America.

“We made these blades, but now Vestas want to take their profits and leave us high and dry.”

Meanwhile, many Vestas workers are at the Trades Union Congress (TUC), building solidarity with other trade unionists and preparing for their national day of action on Thursday 17 September.

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