Wind turbine firm wins order to end sit-in

The owners of a wind turbine factory being occupied by workers won a possession order today.

Vestas Wind Systems took legal action to end the two-week protest by workers at its factory in Newport, Isle of Wight.

The plant was due to close last Friday, with the loss of hundreds of jobs but it was delayed because of the sit-in.

The company successfully applied for a repossession order at Newport County Court today.

Judge Graham White said he was satisfied that legal papers had been served on the group of 11 workers who have barricaded themselves into the factory.

The decision was greeted with boos and jeers by scores of climate change activists and members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union, who staged a protest outside the court.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, who was in court for today's hearing, said the union would continue with its campaign to save the jobs.

"The court has made its decision but we will continue with our campaign and the right to work on green energy jobs."

Mr Crow attacked both the company and the Government and said ministers had been "despicable" in not even meeting the workers or the union to discuss the possibility of other work going to the factory.

Earlier today, workers climbed on to the roof of a second Vestas factory in Cowes, also on the Isle of Wight, in support of the Newport protesters.

Many of the climate change campaigners and union activists left the court to march to the Newport factory in a show of solidarity with the workers.

One of the workers inside the factory said the protest would continue even if the occupation was now ended by bailiffs.

"We are just waiting now to see what happens. But we will not stop our protest, we will merely move down the road until we get results."

A large group of protesters, watched over by several police officers, gathered outside the factory and started chanting: "We will fight back."

The demonstrators said they were now waiting for bailiffs to arrive but there was no information about when any move might be made to end the sit-in.

A climate camp has been set up on a mini roundabout outside the factory, with several tents pitched and colourful banners hung from nearby walls including one reading: "Mandelson's green failure."

A spokesman for Vestas said the company was in no hurry to end the occupation.

"We are as patient as we have been all along. We have been in wind turbines for 30 years - we are very patient in everything we do.

"We remain patiently optimistic, hoping for a peaceful solution in the interests of all parties, particularly the people inside."

One of the workers occupying the factory spoke from a balcony, thanking the protesters for turning up in support and calling for a national day of action on Saturday and again next Wednesday.

"We are asking people to down tools or hold a rally to support us. We want the protest to continue but we also want it to remain peaceful.

"The police and security guards are not our enemies - they are just doing their job.

"We believe this place has a future and we shall not give up on that."

Vestas workers said there was little chance of finding another skilled job on the island once the wind turbine business closes.

Sean McDonagh, who works at the Cowes factory, said there were just 145 job vacancies on the Isle of Wight at the moment, with 60 people chasing every post.

Mr McDonagh said he was planning to move to the mainland to find work because he held out little prospect of getting another skilled job.

He said today's court decision had been expected although he described it as a "blow" to the campaign to save the factory.

Many of the banners draped outside the factory and on walls on the industrial estate where the plant is sited were highly critical of the Government.

Mr McDonagh accused ministers of "lying" about creating green jobs, adding that the Government had been "a complete sham".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Reception Teacher

£120 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: An excellent three form entry scho...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher

£120 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: A lovely primary school in the bor...

The Green Recruitment Company: Mechanical Maintenance Engineer

£11 - £18 Per Hour: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Mechanical Maint...

The Green Recruitment Company: Commercial Construction Manager

£65000 Per Annum bonus & benefits package: The Green Recruitment Company: The ...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'