425 jobs axed as turbines firm closes sites

A wind turbine blade factory which sparked an 18-day occupation announced today it is closing two sites with the loss of 425 jobs.



Vestas said it will cease blade production activities at the company's sites on the Isle of Wight and in Southampton, Hants resulting in 425 employees being made redundant.

Employees were informed of the decision today, the firm said.



The occupation of the Danish-owned Vestas factory ended last week when workers left the building after an 18-day protest.

One of the workers jumped 20ft from a balcony before being led away by security guards, waving and smiling at the climate change activists and trade unionists who had been outside giving support during the protest.

The factory's owner, Vestas Wind Systems, had obtained a court order after six workers barricaded themselves into the plant, on an industrial estate on the outskirts of Newport, Isle of Wight, for more than two weeks in a bid to delay its closure and the loss of 625 jobs.

Members of the Climate Rush campaign group also chained themselves to Business Secretary Lord Mandelson's two-storey property in Regent's Park, north London, in an "act of solidarity" for the workers.





The firm said 40 employees have been found new roles within the Vestas research and development facility on the Isle of Wight.

In addition, 57 employees will continue to work at the factory for a further period to assist in its closure.

Ole Borup Jakobsen, president of Vestas Blades, said: "The decision to close the factory was very difficult and we fully recognise the impact this will have on employees, their families and on the Isle of Wight.

"Nonetheless, this commercial decision was absolutely necessary to secure Vestas's competitiveness and create a regional balance between production and the demand for wind turbines.

"We understand and have sympathy that employees are deeply affected by the closure.

"Throughout the consultation period, minimising the impact on employees and providing all the support we can in this situation has been our first and foremost priority.

"The employee representatives and the local factory management have worked closely with local job centres and career counsellors to ensure employees have received professional help to identify alternative career and employment opportunities."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific