Page last updated at 05:13 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 06:13 UK

Sit-in protest into seventh day

Vestas protest
Workers inside the factory say they will stay for "as long as it takes"

About 25 workers staging a sit-in protest over job cuts at a wind turbine factory on the Idle of Wight have entered a seventh day of action.

Danish company Vestas Windsystems plans to make 625 workers redundant at the end of July, despite rising profits.

Campaigners from the Respect party staged a demonstration at Vestas headquarters in Warrington on Saturday.

Vestas said it was planning to shut the Newport site as the wind turbine market in the UK was "not big enough".

The workers, who are not members of a union, began their sit-in protest on Monday after plans were announced to cut the 625 jobs, despite rising profits.

The Rail Maritime and Transport union and the Respect party have both come forward to offer support for the workers.

'First hot meal'

One of the workers, who did not want to be named, said: "A colleague got in touch with the Respect group up there and we were grateful for their support.

"We also believe there may be a demonstration over in Denmark next week.

"We've chucked the pebble in and all the ripples are going everywhere.

Worker inside sit-in
The workers have almost spent a week inside the factory

"We managed to get our first hot meal last night since we've been in here, Spaghetti Bolognese which was nice."

Hundreds of people attended a rally for the protesters in Newport on Friday evening, a worker said.

Danish firm Vestas served court papers on Thursday with the matter set to be discussed in a county court in Newport on Wednesday.

Vestas Wind Systems told the BBC on Friday that even though demand was strong globally it made "more sense" to make turbines as close to the market as possible.

Peter Kruse, spokesman from Vestas Wind Systems, said they were "patient people" but the workers - who are not members of a union - had been warned that there would be "consequences".

A total of five men have been arrested at the site of the action since Monday, police said.



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