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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 July 2009

Vestas jobs fightback

The Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight, the only wind turbine factory in the UK, is closing, taking over 600 jobs with it - but the workers of Vestas are organising their fightback. They began a factory occupation on 20 July.

Ben Norman

Following the open meetings and the first tentative campaign steps reported in The Socialist two weeks ago, events have moved fast.

On 13 July Socialist Party members from branches in Portsmouth and Southampton joined local activists and Vestas workers in Newport, Isle of Wight, in the first public sign of action since the previous week's open meeting.

Public support is overwhelmingly in support of the workers and people queued in the pouring rain to sign petitions and write messages of support.

While this was taking place, key workers were organising on the factory floor.

The following week a workers' campaign committee was formed to discuss demands and organise the fightback. Some key organisers have joined a trade union and are now working to unionise the rest of the workforce.

Shamefully, despite this progress, local politicians continue to turn their backs on the workers.

The island's Tory MP Andrew Turner has already washed his hands of the issue and now he is joined by Portsmouth North MP, Sarah McCarthy-Fry, who is clearly more interested in her new position in the treasury. She refused to sign the petition supporting the workers.

Energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband has talked of the jobs that will be created as Britain reaches the target of 30% of electricity generation through renewable sources in the next ten years. Yet this does not seem to include jobs at Vestas.

In spite of this, the workers have continued to organise themselves.

Messages of support have rained in and members of Unite, the RMT, Unison, and the CWU have shown their support for the workers' struggle.

The Socialist Party stands shoulder to shoulder with the workers of Vestas in their struggle; we support their demands and call for:

Send your messages of solidarity and support to: [email protected]

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 21 July 2009:

Corus... Vestas... Defend every job!


No Job Cuts

Vestas: Support the occupation

Vestas jobs fightback

Action to save steel jobs at Corus


Unison witchhunt

Defend the Four: Protest at the Unison witch-hunt

Unison witch-hunt verdict causes outrage amongst trade unionists


Youth fight for jobs

Youth fight for jobs fortnight of action


Workplace news

National strike action to halt attacks on workers and our postal services

Tube workers' action wins concessions

South Yorkshire First Buses strike over pay

London Met Uni strike

Every little helps Tesco's as they attack workers

Teachers strike against job cuts

Care homes public meeting


Pensions

Union action to fight the attacks on our pensions

Pensions - in brief

Pensions: We say


Anti-racism

BNP get police to arrest socialists

Lincoln fights back against racist BNP

Stop the BNP's 'festival' of hate

Rock Against Racism


Socialist Party campaigns

Keep Deptford Jobcentre open!

Build the Tamil Solidarity campaign

Devon residents against incinerators: Alternative waste schemes needed

Another stepping stone towards health privatisation


Marxist analysis: history

20th anniversary of Soviet miners' strike


Comment

40th anniversary of the moon landing What steps has humanity taken?


 

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