Vestas: one year on

Published on: Thu, 24/06/2010 - 20:13

12 months ago, following a campaign by members of Workers’ Liberty and Workers’ Climate Action, workers at the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight occupied the plant against closure. The campaign became a focus for the left and the environmental movement, and showed how a working-class struggle for decent jobs could be combined with a perspective for environmentally-sustainable and socially-useful production.

Former Vestas workers and their supporters on the island and elsewhere are still campaigning for jobs and justice. An AWL pamphlet telling the story of the dispute is

"Workers are the power and strength we need"

Published on: Thu, 07/01/2010 - 13:58

Ian Terry

Vestas occupier and activist Ian Terry who was in Copenhagen to speak at the Klimaforum and take part in Workers’ Climate Action activity against Vestas, spoke to Dan Rawnsley.

You spoke in the Klimaforum on left alternatives to capitalism. How do you feel the meeting went?

There seemed to be a lot more interesting conversations coming from the floor than the panel. It is good that a lot of people from different backgrounds and from all over the world were coming together and recognising that the climate issue is a left issue. But it felt like there was an absence of the Danish left.


Climate activists challenge Vestas in Copenhagen

Published on: Wed, 06/01/2010 - 17:33

Daniel Rawnsley

Workers Climate Action activists at the Copenhagen climate summit (7-18 December) marched in to the entrance hall of the 18th-century Odd Fellow palace, where the multinational wind turbine manufacturer Vestas was holding a drinks party, with banners and a megaphone. We remained there for around half an hour, chanting slogans and handing out leaflets to partygoers.

Eventually Danish police arrived, without any of the event organisers confronting us first, and the protest was forced outside. We continued to use the megaphone to voice our opposition to Vestas’ appalling record on workers rights

Now Vestas lays off wind turbine workers in USA

Published on: Tue, 15/12/2009 - 16:01

Fresh from closing down production on the Isle of Wight, in Britain, wind-turbine multinational Vestas has announced that it will lay off workers in Colorado, USA.

It will also halt construction on new wind-turbine factories it was building in Colorado.

Read more.

Vestas: story of a battle

Published on: Thu, 10/12/2009 - 14:34

Sometimes struggles come along that help us learn, or relearn, many basic and valuable lessons about what it means to be a working-class activist engaged in the fight for socialism. The struggle that took place on the Isle of Wight in summer 2009 to prevent the closure of the Vestas wind turbine blades factory was such a struggle.

It taught us, against ruling-class myths about the non-existence of class or the passivity of working people, that workers can and will fight — even when they are unorganised and have no history of militancy.

It taught us that organised socialists and other class

Bulletins from the Vestas Campaign

Published on: Thu, 03/12/2009 - 14:50

Ed Maltby

Three young members of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty headed up the Workers' Climate Action campaign to mobilise workers at the Vestas plants against the closure of the factories.

We used the skills that we had been taught as members of Workers' Liberty to plan a campaign of agitation on the factory gates; and to write effective agitational materials to hand out to workers. These bulletins were the lynchpin of the intervention that we made in the first weeks of the campaign on the factory gates. They served as a 'prop' to initiate conversations with workers, to be sure - but they carried

Vestas roundabout camp evicted

Published on: Tue, 24/11/2009 - 16:46

Martin Thomas

A "possession order" has been granted against protesters still camping on the roundabout outside the main Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight, but they say they will continue their fight to win redundancy money for the workers who occupied the factory in July-August.

Workers occupied the wind turbine blade factory was occupied from 20 July to 7 August to stop job cuts - and succeeded in delaying them - and then blockaded the factory's "marine gate", to stop removal of wind turbine blades still stored there, until 22 September.

Since 22 September protesters have continued to camp on the

Ex-Vestas workers decide Trades Councils drive

Published on: Sun, 11/10/2009 - 12:15

Martin Thomas

A meeting called by the former Vestas workers in Newport, Isle of Wight, on Friday 9 October decided to take their campaign forward by a drive to revitalise and augment the local Trades Councils and turn them towards a campaign for jobs on the island.

The first step is due to be a meeting called by the former Vestas workers on Thursday 15 October to discuss solidarity with the postal workers who may soon be taking national strike action over job cuts in their industry.

Job cuts are also threatened in the local tax office and as a result of a local schools reorganisation. The Isle of Wight

Vestas workers discuss next steps

Published on: Wed, 07/10/2009 - 14:50

Dan Rawnsley

The Vestas wind turbine blade workers on the Isle of Wight have called a meeting for Friday 9 October to discuss the future of their campaign for Friday 9 October.

Vestas, a big Danish-based multinational, announced the close of their blade-manufacture operation on the Isle of Wight - the only sizeable one in Britain - on 28 April. The workers occupied the Newport factory from 20 July to 7 August to stop closure, and then blockaded it until the blockade was broken up by large numbers of police on 22 September.

Mark Smith, one of the Vestas occupiers, told Solidarity that prospects on the

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