Sit-in continues in fight against planned closure of Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight

Wind turbine firm Vestas is heading for court in a bid to force workers occupying its factory to leave the building.

Around 25 workers have been staging a sit-in at the offices in the Isle of Wight since 20 July, when the Danish company announced it would be closing the factory, resulting in a loss of 625 jobs.

On Tuesday, the firm sacked 11 employees who had taken part in the sit-in.

It will now apply for a possession order to remove the remaining workers from the site. If it is successful, Vestas will be able to request a warrant to evict the protesters.

Vestas factory sit-in protest
Credit: Darrangange
The protesters at the Vestas factory

Vestas blamed the decision to close the factory on a lack of demand for wind turbines in the UK, although the company had seen a rise in profit.

Although the workers are not union members, trade unionists have joined calls to keep the factory open, alongside environmentalists. On Tuesday evening, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union organised a protest outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change in London.

Commenting on the sackings of the 11 employees, Vestas said in a statement that it had seen “no other choice than to dismiss the 11 employees, who the company has positively identified as the employees currently participating in the occupation of the factory.”

One of the workers told the BBC dismissal letters informing them they had lost their jobs and redundancy packages, were delivered on Tuesday with their evening meal.

“We're obviously disappointed,” he said, “but we kind of expected this. It's not going to deter us, and we're not going to leave.”