Page last updated at 21:24 GMT, Monday, 20 July 2009 22:24 UK

Turbine workers in sit-in protest

Police outside the Vestas offices
The workers entered the offices at about 1930 BST

Workers from the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight who are set to lose their jobs are staging a sit-in protest at the firm's offices.

Danish company Vestas Windsystems is laying off 625 workers at the end of July, despite rising profits.

It said the Newport factory was being closed due to reduced demand for wind turbines in northern Europe.

About 20 people inside the offices in Cowes have vowed to remain there until "somebody listens to us".

They began their protest at about 1930 BST.

Workers and their unions have previously called for government action to preserve jobs at a time when ministers are pledging a commitment to renewable energy.

What we would like to see is the government actually taking it over and possibly nationalising it
Protester

One of the protesters, who did not want to be named, said: "It is our last-ditch attempt to save the jobs.

"This is a green industry and the government keep harping on about how much they want to get all these hundreds of thousands of green jobs going.

"But then they go and close the only wind turbine plant in England.

"The government offered to give Vestas money to keep it going, but apparently Vestas turned this down.

"What we would like to see is the government actually taking it over and possibly nationalising it."

Police officers are in attendance at the protest, which was described as peaceful. No arrests have been made.

The Vestas factory is set to shut at the end of July with the loss of 525 jobs at the blade manufacturing and research plant at Newport, and a further 100 in Southampton.

The news of the job cuts came as the organisation, which is the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines, reported a quarterly sales rise of 59% to 1.11bn euros.

Vestas is one of the largest employers of skilled labour on the island.



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