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."
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...