Rooftop demo to support workers
BBC News: 4 August 2009
Five people have begun a rooftop protest on the Isle of Wight over the planned closure of a wind turbine blade factory, with the loss of 625 jobs.
The roof-top protest coincides with the world-famous Cowes Week regatta
They have climbed the Vestas factory's Venture Quays building in Cowes, during the world-famous Cowes Week regatta.
It comes as the Danish firm plans to evict about 20 workers, who barricaded themselves into the firm's Newport plant on the island 15 days ago.
The Danish company is going to the courts to seek a repossession order.
A spokesman declined to comment on the rooftop protest.
The four men and one woman have hung banners reading: "In solidarity with the Vestas workers" and "Fight for green jobs".
They told the BBC News website they would stay there until all the workers were given their jobs back.
We are staying here until the workers are re-instated
Martin Shaw, roof-top protester
One of the protesters is a member of the RMT but is not believed to be a Vestas worker.
The other four - three men and one woman - said they were from the "climate camp" and were not from the island.
Martin Shaw, 44, told the BBC News website: "We are here to highlight government hypocrisy whereby they talk about a green future but are prepared to spend billions and billions of taxpayers' money on baling out the banks.
"They acknowledge climate change and yet the only [wind turbine] factory in the whole of Britain is being closed.
"We are staying here until the workers are re-instated, particularly the ones at the factory who are fighting for the right to work and support their families."
'Starve' workers out
On Monday, RMT union boss Bob Crow said the sit-in workers at the Newport site had again been denied food parcels on Sunday night and Monday morning but they were later allowed through.
He said if the protesters were denied access to the parcels in future, the RMT would seek a High Court injunction.
The RMT had accused Vestas of trying to "starve" the workers out by using security guards to restrict access to food and drink.
Vestas has been supplying twice daily meals but the RMT says that is not enough.
Protest by supporters of the sit-in protest
Seven supporters of the sit-in were arrested in London on Monday
Peter Kruse, Vestas spokesman, said on Monday: "The people inside are free to leave if they don't like what is on the menu."
Seven people were arrested on Monday after apparently using super-glue to stick themselves together at the Department of Energy and Climate Change in support of the Vestas workers.
The Vestas operation on the island was due to shut on 31 July but the closure date has been put back to 10 August because of the sit-in.
The protesters claim up to 25 people have been inside the Newport factory. Eleven workers identified by the firm have been sacked.
Vestas's bid to have the workers removed failed last week when a judge ruled papers had not been served in accordance with legal rules.
Vestas blamed the closure of the factory on a lack of demand for wind turbines in the UK.