RMT accuses Vestas of knocking back turbine factory rescue deal

OFFSHORE ENERGY UNION RMT today accused the owners of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight of “kicking the legs” from under a rescue package that could have saved it from closure.

RMT officials Bob Crow and John Leach, along with representatives of the Vestas workforce, met with energy minister Joan Ruddock yesterday to discuss the future of the factory.

During the meeting it emerged that the government had offered a series of rescue options to the company but each one had been rejected.

Bailiffs notices were served yesterday on the remaining six men in occupation and moves are expected by noon today by the company to retake possession of the buildings.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said

"Whatever happens today, the workers involved in the Vestas occupation can hold their heads up high and be proud of the brave fight they have put up for green jobs. They have turned a local fight over a factory closure on the Isle of Wight into a global battle for the future of manufacturing in the renewable energy sector and that is an extraordinary achievement.

"There should now be an investigation into Vestas' activities in the UK as it appears from the meeting with the minister that they kicked the legs from under a perfectly viable rescue deal which could have saved the factory. We cannot have a situation where companies like this turn the tap on and off on key manufacturing jobs. They should not be allowed to simply up sticks and shift production to other parts of the world regardless of the impact on the local economy.

"RMT will continue to work to secure the best possible deal for the Vestas workforce and specifically the workers sacked during the occupation. The fight to get this unit back into production, making turbines for the UK, goes on."

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