Monday, 27 July 2009

Saving Vestas jobs to save the environment

How often are we told that it's a choice between jobs or the environment?

But this latest dispute at Vestas involving workers at the UK's only wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight is about saving jobs that will save the environment.

The 600 workers are fighting plans by their multinational bosses to close the plant at the end of this month, just as the need for renewable energy becomes more central to reducing global warming and safeguarding all our futures.

The workers are not giving up without a fight - they have occupied the factory and have won the support of the RMT union to challenge the decision to close a profitable factory.

This is a struggle with huge symbolic importance. The banking crisis revealed finance capitalism to be little more than a rotten casino-style operation with huge rewards for failure. Now industrial capitalism is in the dock - only concerned about maximising profits. If we want to protect the environment, we will have to do it ourselves.

Also in the dock is Ed Miliband, Labour's environment minister. As one Vestas employee whose job is under threat said: “why is the government closing our only wind turbine factory down, when it says it will have 7000 wind turbines up by 2020?”

This is about saving jobs to save the environment.

What you can do:
Send messages of support from yourself or your organisation to savevestas@googlemail.com.
Send a donation from your trade union or other organisation, or make a personal donation: cheques payable to Ryde and East Wight Trades Union Council, 22 Church Lane, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2NB
Contact energy minister Ed Miliband. His e-address is ps.ed.miliband@decc.gsi.gov.uk. His phone number in his Doncaster constituency is 01302 875 462, and at Westminster, 020 7219 4778. Flood him with calls for the Government to take over the Vestas factory and keep it producing, under new management.
Organise a visible demonstration of solidarity. Take a photo with a placard that reads “Save Vestas” and email the photo to savevestas@gmail.com.
Sign the petitions http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/SaveVestas/ on the No.10 site and http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/climate/press_for_change/vestas_petition_20414.html on the FoE website.

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