Workers staging an eight-day protest over the loss of jobs at the Vestas wind turbine factory in the Isle of Wight have been officially dismissed without compensation.
Around 25 workers have staged a sit-in since last Tuesday. The plant's Danish parent company plans to close it on Friday, with the loss of more than 600 jobs, despite rising profits.
Letters were delivered to at least 11 workers yesterday informing them of immediate dismissal and that they would not be entitled to compensation. Vestas said the occupation constituted industrial action and was causing the company "difficulties" as it tried to consult the workforce.
More than five people have been arrested at the site since the protest began, and the company is due to take legal action at a county court later today. The company claims it has to close its manufacturing unit because the UK onshore wind market is not growing fast enough. It says projects are being slowed down by planning objections, and it plans to move production to Colorado in the US, despite receiving a £6m government grant this week for its offshore research and development division.
According to one protester, workers were informed of their dismissal through letters which arrived alongside their evening meal. "We have been expecting this to happen but there is no way it will stop our campaign and we will be continuing with the occupation," one said.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union, said: "This is a vindictive and aggressive move by a company that has been quite happy to accept millions of pounds in government grants and then dumped on its 625 staff when it suits them."Reuse content