Page last updated at 18:59 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 19:59 UK

Turbine workers face court action

Worker inside sit-in
The workers have spent three nights inside the factory

Workers on the fourth day of a sit-in protest at a wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight said the owners have served them with court papers.

The 25 staff began the protest after Danish firm Vestas Windsystems revealed plans to sack 625 workers by the end of July, despite rising profits.

BBC News has been told by the workers the matter will be discussed in a county court in Newport next Wednesday.

Vestas said talks at the Newport site were ongoing and it would not comment.

Union support

RMT union leader, Bob Crow, pledged his backing for the workers when he attended a rally outside the factory.

"We are going to be representing and supporting them in court," he said.

"We are not going to allow our people to be starved out - if need be, we will drop helicopter loads of food."

Protesters, who occupied the site at about 1930 BST on Monday, said managers had given them until Tuesday night to end their action or face the sack.

When a fence was erected on Wednesday, the workers said they believed that it was put up to stop supplies being thrown through a balcony, but the firm has since provided food.

The protesters also said electric and telephone lines had been temporarily cut, but police said the power to the building was at no stage turned off.

Police said Vestas had started legal action to gain an injunction to remove the sit-in protesters.

A total of five men have now been arrested at the site, police said.

The company said the factory was being closed next week because of reduced demand for wind turbines in northern Europe.

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