VESTAS WORKERS' SOLIDARITY DEMONSTRATION - CARDIFF
Cardiff RMT Branch
Campaign against Climate Change
Leanne Wood AM
Climate Camp Cymru
People and Planet
World Development Movement Cardiff
South Wales Anarchists
After occupying their factory and gaining international support from socialists, trade unionists and environmentalists the Vestas workers have called a day of action to ramp up the pressure on the factory bosses and the government. It’s been an inspiring struggle so far…
Vestas is a wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight, the only wind turbine factory in Britain.
The factory bosses decided to close down the plant in August, making 600 people redundant and loosing a vital source of renewable energy. Their excuse was that it was no longer “viable”. The Government remained silent and let the free market decide the fate of the factory and its workers. On the one hand, they talk about investing in green jobs and renewable energy and protecting ordinary people from the effects of the crisis. On the other hand, they actually do nothing.
Now they've been nationally and internationally embarrassed. When Ed Milliband went to Oxford to lecture people on climate change 600 people turned up after discovering Vestas workers were going to be there. The audience demanded that the two men speak against Miliband's wishes. They demanded nationalisation to save their jobs. After huge popular resistance like this and over a month of tireless campaigning the government wants to be seen to be doing something. It says that it will buy the factory but that Vestas won’t sell. The campaign goes on because it’s quite clear that it’s not up to Vestas whether there’s a wind turbine factory in Britain or whether 600 workers get sacked, it’s in everybody’s interest. And it’s possible that we can beat both the government and Vestas, saving jobs and the possibility of preventing catastrophic global warming.
We’re holding a rally in Cardiff with a worker from the factory coming down to speak alongside Trade Unionists, Socialists and Climate Activists.
But this is not all we should do.
We should encourage people to put banners outside their windows at work, college or home supporting the campaign, do collections and get people to leave their work or college for an hour on the day in protest. The Campaign against Climate Change has produced teacher’s packs so that students can learn about climate change on the day.
We will be selling Green Ribbons in the run up to the day and on the day for £1 and send all the money to the workers who’ve lost their jobs.
The occupiers and the people in the campaign have asked for this kind of solidarity. They have also demanded that the fight should be taken to the labour party conference in Brighton on 27th September.