Occupation holds back Vestas factory closure date as company extends consultation period

The occupation of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight today passed another significant milestone with the workers holding back the scheduled closure date of the facility and with the company writing to staff this morning confirming that the consultation has been extended indefinitely – a move described by Vestas union RMT as a “massive victory.”

Vestas had planned to close the factory today – Friday 31 July – but as a result of the occupation, and the global campaign in support of the workforce, they have been pushed back and the extension of the consultation with the workforce means that there is a serious opportunity to draw up a rescue package similar to the one supported by the Scottish Parliament earlier this year which saved the Vestas factory in Kintyre.

This weekend will see a further show of the strength of the growing support for the Vestas workforce with crowds from the cancelled Big Green Gathering diverting to the Isle of Wight in what will be another important boost for the Save Vestas campaign.

Tomorrow, Saturday 1st August, there will be a major demonstration in support of the campaign starting at 1pm from St Thomas’s Square in Newport town centre.

RMT have also congratulated Gerry Byrne who took the Vestas protest to the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square for an hour this morning between 5am and 6am.

Bob Crow, general secretary of Vestas workers’ union RMT, said:

The fact that the Vestas campaign has held back the scheduled closure date today is another significant milestone in the fight to save the factory and 625 skilled manufacturing jobs in green energy. The extension of the consultation with the workforce this morning gives us a real chance to work up a rescue plan.

This weekend will see a major demonstration of the growing support for the Vestas campaign which has fired the imagination of the labour and environmental movements all around the world.

RMT remains deeply concerned as to the well being of those in occupation and we will be taking further legal and health advice today. This brave group of workers continue to be denied access to their basic human rights to nutritional food and liquids and we are making every effort to get supplies through.”

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