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Socialist Worker

Issue: 2161

Dated: 25 Jul 2009

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Vestas workers occupy: 'A fight for jobs and the planet'

Workers at Vestas, the UK’s only wind turbine manufacturer, occupied their factory in Newport, Isle of Wight on Monday evening against plans to close it. Dave is one of the ­occupying workers. He spoke to Socialist Worker on Tuesday.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Construction blacklisters get off

Companies behind the secret blacklist in construction will escape scot free.

Don’t let legal threats stop national construction strike

More than 2,000 engineering construction workers in the Unite and GMB unions at seven petrochemical plants and power stations are to be balloted for an official strike over jobs.

Photo: protesters say no to Miss England competition’s misogyny

Is there pattern in raids on cleaners?

Immigration officers arrested seven cleaners in a raid at the central London building of global insurance giant Willis on Tuesday of last week. All were employed by the contractor Mitie and all face deportation.

Open letter responses: Out of the wilderness

Like many people of my age I got involved in politics during the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5 and its bitter aftermath.

Open letter responses: 'We must link arms in struggle'

Open letter responses: 'We must link arms in struggle'

Demonstration at Carphone Warehouse Wednesbury

Last Saturday more than 100 people marched through Wednesbury in the Black Country against attacks on union activists at Carphone Warehouse.


The photograph of the Shrewsbury pickets march, published in Socialist Worker, 11 July, was taken by Celine Burrows of Chouette Photography not Andrew Brown. We apologise for the mistake.

Dudley campaigns protest at council

Campaigns to prevent the closure of Coseley Swimming Baths and Pensnett High School, and sort out the single status pay agreement for council workers, protested outside Dudley council’s meeting on Monday of last week.

Defend victimised Unison members

A court set up by the Unison union has found four Socialist Party members guilty of producing a leaflet that could give "racist offence" at the union’s 2007 conference.

Next week is key for tube dispute

Talks are continuing on London Underground in the dispute over pay, job losses and bullying management.

Massive vote to fight Trinity Mirror job cuts

Journalists in the NUJ union at Trinity Mirror’s Midlands titles have voted massively in favour of industrial action over compulsory job cuts and paper closures.

Action wins over jobs at City College Birmingham

Strikes by lecturers at City College Birmingham have forced management to promise that there will be no compulsory redundancies at the site.

Academy fight continues in Tamworth

The fight against academy schools in Tamworth is set to continue when teachers return from the summer break.

'Stop the Sats' barbecue in Birmingham

More than 200 children, parents and teachers joined clowns and jugglers at the Stop the Sats barbecue organised by the Birmingham NUT teachers’ union last Saturday at Park Hill Primary School.

Teachers have no Trust in Norlington

Teachers in the NUT union took a second day of solid strike action at Norlington Boys school in Leyton, east London, on Wednesday of last week.

Metroline bus workers vote to oppose cab cameras

Bus workers at Metroline in London have voted overwhelmingly in a consultative ballot for strike action against plans to introduce cameras into the cabs of their buses.

Unity is First on the agenda during Aberdeen bus strike

Workers at First Bus in Aberdeen struck on Thursday of last week – the same day the company held its annual general meeting in the city.

First South Yorkshire drivers strike against pay freeze

Pickets got up the nose of management in last week’s one-day strike by First South Yorkshire drivers against a pay freeze.

Consultative ballot at Cadbury

Some 1,300 workers in the Unite union at Cadbury are involved in a consultative ballot over pay.

Resist the cuts in the fire service

Fire authority bosses are planning a series of cuts in front line posts in one of the biggest attacks on the fire service.

Manchester protest for Uighurs

Around 30 people took part in a lively protest outside the Chinese Embassy in Manchester last week.

Refuse workers fight pay cut

Refuse collectors in Edinburgh are angry about proposals to scrap bonuses for attendance and productivity and have been working to rule since 25 June.

Hazel Blears must go campaign launched

Following an excellent picket of the Labour Party meeting that re-affirmed Hazel Blears as the Labour Party’s candidate for Salford, the inaugural meeting of the Hazel Must Go campaign took place last week.

East Midlands Trains workers to strike

Train drivers in the Aslef union at East Midlands Trains have voted by 75 percent to 25 percent to reject their pay offer and strike. They are now set to strike on Friday of this week, Monday and Friday of next week, and 3, 7 and 10 August.

Arriva Cross Country vote for action

Members of the RMT transport union working for Arriva Cross Country have voted by four to one for industrial action over a breakdown in industrial relations.

National Express East Anglia to strike over pay

Workers in the RMT and Aslef transport unions at National Express East Anglia have voted by over 90 percent to strike over pay, conditions and reorganisation.

Southampton car workers strike over attacks on shifts

More than 100 contract workers inside the Ford complex in Southampton were set to strike for four hours on Wednesday.

Battle is on for postal workers

The fight for the future of Royal Mail is intensifying.

Barclays bank workers ballot over final salary pension

Some 25,000 Unite members at Barclays bank are about to ballot over the bank’s decision to close its final salary pension scheme.

Pensions battle at IBM

IBM is one of the latest companies looking to close its final salary pension scheme to existing members.

Upcoming London post strikes

Saturday 25 July- All London delivery offices except Rathbone Place and Mount Pleasant deliveriesTuesday 28 July- East London Mail Centre, Mount Pleasant mail centre, Mount Pleasant delivery centre.Wednesday 29 July- Princess Royal distribution centre, Thurrock distribution centreThursday 30, Friday 31 July, Saturday 1 August- rolling selective action in London delivery officesFriday 31 July- Rathbone Place

Unions back protest at Labour conference

The growing anger against the Labour government’s handling of the recession is building momentum for protests at the Labour Party conference on 27 September.

Workers forge united fight to save steel jobs

A whole town united last Saturday in a fight for jobs. Around 5,000 people marched through Redcar in the north east of England in protest at Corus’s threat to close their steel plant.

Fight is on to stop Diaego Johnnie Walker closures

"If you shut Johnnie Walker’s you might as well close the shutters in every shop in Kilmarnock."

Take the battle for jobs to Labour

Thousands of students, pensioners, campaigners, unemployed people and others will join the march on the Labour Party conference in Brighton on Sunday 27 September.

BNP is at the heart of web of Nazi filth

A motley collection of Holocaust deniers, antisemites, white supremacists and admirers of Adolf Hitler will gather for their annual hate-fest in the Derbyshire village of Codnor at the Red, White and Blue festival on Saturday 15 August.

Hundreds rally against fascists at UAF conference

More than 400 anti-fascist activists from around Britain gathered in Manchester last weekend for a conference organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

Vestas occupation is part of struggle for the future

Workers at the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight have joined the fight against ordinary people being made to suffer for the recession.

Profits come first for bosses

Vestas proudly states that, "With a 20 percent market share, and 38,000 wind turbines installed, Vestas is the world’s leading supplier of wind power solutions."

Ford-Visteon workers back the fight for justice

The occupation at Vestas is just the latest in the wave of unofficial and militant actions that workers have taken in response to attacks on their jobs, terms and conditions.

Workers’ action can save the planet

Jonathan Neale of the Campaign Against Climate Change spoke to Socialist Worker about the importance of the fight at Vestas

How you can help the Vestas occupation

Text messages of support to 07980 703 115, 07970 739 921 and 07733 388 888. Email messages to

Tension growing over Iraq

The US military is finding the Iraqi interpretation of its Status of Forces Agreement a little hard to swallow.

Support grows for soldier who spoke out against Afghanistan war

Support has been flowing in for Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, a British soldier who spoke out against the war in Afghanistan in last week’s Socialist Worker, calling for British troops to be brought home.

Demonstrate to stop the Nazi BNP’s festival of hate

The leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP), Nick Griffin, thinks that Islam is a "cancer" that must be removed by "chemotherapy".

Labour in panic about swne flu pandemic

More than 700 people have died from H1N1 swine flu around the world so far.

Don't let them starve Vestas occupiers out

Police and Vestas management are trying to starve out the Vestas workers who are occupying their plant in Newport, on the Isle of Wight.

Supporters of Vestas workers get food to the occupation

Women protesters have defied the police blockade at the occupied Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight. The protesters managed to throw up food to the workers, who the police were attempting to starve out.

Solidarity and the siege of Vestas

The workers occupation of Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight saw both impressive displays of solidarity and an escalation from management against the workers on Wednesday.

Protest at the Department of Energy and Climate Change

Around 100 campaigners lobbied the Department of Energy and Climate Change tonight – demanding that the government takes real action to save the planet. The occupation at the Vestas wind turbine plant in Newport added an extra buzz to the action.

Vestas occupation still going strong

On the morning of the fourth day, Thursday, the occupation to save jobs at the Vestas factory in the Isle of Wight remains solid.

Photos of Vestas occupation

Support grows for Vestas occupation

Vestas wind turbine workers and their supporters have taken to the streets of Newport, Isle of Wight, today to leaflet for another protest outside the factory tonight. Dozens of people gave out flyers for the protest, which starts at 6pm. Public support for the Vestas occupation is growing every day.

Workers occupying Vestas face court on Wednesday 29 July

Around 300 people gathered outside the occupied Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight this evening.

Hundreds rally in support of Vestas occupation

More than 400 people rallied outside the occupied Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight tonight after a march from Newport town centre. The workers have now been in occupation for four days in the fight to save their jobs.

Vestas bosses back down over hot meals

Workers occupying the Vestas wind turbine factory in Newport on the Isle of Wight today managed to force bosses to give them the first hot meal they’d had since the occupation started last Monday.

Defend the Vestas occupation on Wednesday at the court

The occupation at the Vestas wind turbine factory in Newport, Isle of Wight is still solid as it nears the end of its first week.


Challenging the coup in Honduras

Trade unions, farmers, student organisations and social movements have called a general strike in Honduras for Thursday of this week. The protest movement has continued and grown since the 28 June coup, despite increasingly brutal repression and the murder of several demonstrators by the army.

Still taking to the streets in Iran

More than 100,000 people took to the streets of Tehran on Friday of last week in the biggest show of defiance since a crackdown on mass protests against elections widely thought to be rigged.

Brutal police raid on refugees in Greece

I will never forget what happened on Sunday 12 July, when the Greek police destroyed a refugee camp in Patras, the country’s fourth biggest city.


Truth about brutality in Gaza catches up with Israel

‘When war is declared, truth is the first casualty’, wrote Arthur Ponsonby in "Falsehood in Wartime", his 1928 critique of military propaganda.

Banks go back to bubble bonuses

Can you believe the banks? While the world economic crisis has deep underlying causes, it was precipitated by the collapse of the credit bubble that had been inflated by major banks in a frenzy of borrowing and lending.


Guy Smallman’s photos of bombed out Granai in Afghanistan

Strategy and tactics - what’s the difference?

Military scientists originally defined the difference between strategy and tactics.

Where now for China?

The horrific ethnic riots in Xinjiang, north west China, has brought home to many the huge tensions that lie below the surface of Chinese society. The riots left almost 200 people dead in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, following the murder of two Uighur migrants from the region in southern China a week earlier.

Granai: the murder of an Afghan village

On the evening of 4 May the people of Granai, a village in Farah province in western Afghanistan, attended evening prayers in their local mosque.


The Ecstatic - Mos Def

This is a return to form for a rapper who has never subscribed to "gangsta" hip hop, preferring more socially-conscious lyrics. On Supermagic he declares, "There has to be a change, a better world has to be built – and the only way it is going to be built is with extreme methods."

Imidiwan: Companions - Tinariwen

The swirling, hypnotic sound of Touareg rock band Tinariwen returns on their fourth album Imidiwan (which means "companions").

Frozen River

Ray’s husband has left just as Christmas approaches, taking the down-payment on their new house with him.

Banksy versus Bristol Museum

The popular artist Banksy has brought together over 100 pieces of work at an exhibition in Bristol. Banksy versus Bristol Museum sees him "remixing" the site in his own subversive manner. The exhibition is on until 31 August.

Stalin’s Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky

At 4am on 24 May 1940 machine gun bullets tore through the bedroom where the exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia were sleeping.

What We Think

Other Categories

Tim: Social mobility

Leon Kuhn: A place in Europe

Tim: 'Green' economy



Quotes of the week

"Of course we will be operating under greater public spending constraints in the coming decade than we have in the last ten years." Business secretary Lord Mandelson lets slip the government’s plans for spending cuts

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