Monthly Archives: July 2009

This Friday – Solidarity with Vestas workers – Northern demo

Come and show your solidarity with the Vestas wind turbine workers occupation. Join the protest outside Vestas UK HQ in Warrington, this Friday 31st June, 12.00 midday.

The occupation of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight has inspired mass support around the country. This week the protests are escalating as the corporation seeks to take the occupiers to court. The planned closure of the Isle of Wight factory by Vestas corporation falls on this Friday.

The fight against the closure of the factory and to save jobs has become a symbol of the wider struggle to transform the economy and energy supplies towards renewable sources such as wind. It has become clear that the logic of profits and competition that dominate our current system of capitalist markets and corporate power is not capable of leading the necessary transition.

The protest movement erupting on the Isle of Wight represents the potential for a powerful new alliance of the Trades Union and Green movements, working together to transform production towards something more socially just and sustainable. Help build this new alliance.

Tell your friends about the struggle, and come down to Warrington this Friday afternoon. Warrington is where Vestas UK main offices and HQ are located. Vestas UK HQ 302 Bridgewater Place Birchwood Park Warrington WA3 6XG.

 Read more about the campaign on their blog: http://savevestas.wordpress.com/

Seize the Day’s Video from community demo on the Isle of Wight

This struggle shows how the workers at Vestas – in a previously non-unionised factory – can quite suddenly rise to considerable heights of militancy, political clarity, class consciousness, confidence and eloquence. 

This great example happening today demonstrates what we had almost long forgotten – that when workers move into action, they can begin to shake off years of apathy and capitalist ideological conditioning. It shows how quickly the working class in Britain could rise into a major political force again, and how quickly some will regain class consciousness in such a situation.

Of course the barriers to this are still enormous. The initiative of the small groups of socialist and green activists who began agitating on this a few months ago is to be applauded and emulated. Maybe even the fact that Vestas was initially non-union even helped? I can imagine union officials would try and block an occupation and the influence of radical young activists. And we saw what happened with the sacking of the entire shift of casual workers at the Cowly mini plant this Feb, where workers ended up throwing fruit at union officials.

Now – can what has happened at Vestas and Visteon now happen against the closure of Corus steelworks, with its thousands of workers facing the sack? The towers of wind turbines are made of steel. We will still need a steel industry in our transition to a sustainable economy and new ecological-technological base. Occupy to save Corus jobs !?! Could such a major workplace following this example even be the tipping point in the balance of class forces in Britain?

We need to spread these examples of occupations into every industrial estate in the country, especially places where we know there are redundancies threatened. The best way of doing this is to start shaking bucket collections to support the Vestas struggle outside workplaces everywhere – and hand out leaflets etc.

This dispute also raises many questions about the relationship between workers struggle around their livlihoods and the transition to an ecologically sustainable society – a theme which I hope to address on this blog soon.

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