Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 11:53 UK

Turbine firm fails to end sit-in

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Demonstrators support sacked sit-in workers at Vestas which failed in an attempt to force them out

Wind turbine company Vestas has failed in an attempt to force workers staging a sit-in at its Isle of Wight factory to leave the building.

About 25 workers have been occupying the Newport offices since 20 July after the firm announced plans to close the factory, with the loss of 625 jobs.

A judge at Newport County Court ruled that removal papers had not been served in accordance with legal rules.

The case was adjourned until Tuesday. Eleven employees have been sacked.

'Procedural issues'

The court heard that there were "procedural issues" in the way that the court summons were served.

Vestas had named individuals in its court summons and should have served papers to each of them.

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

However the firm only served them to one of the protesters inside who said he would pass them on, the court heard.

The Danish company is expected to serve court papers later by alternative means later if it can demonstrate it cannot get into the building, and will deliver them outside.

Vestas said it could not get in to the property without force because it was secured from the inside.

A hearing should have also taken place on Thursday, but the rules require three clear days after papers are served before the next court hearing.

'No other choice'

Vestas has blamed its decision to close the factory on a lack of demand for wind turbines in the UK market, despite the firm's profits rising.

The factory was scheduled to close this Friday.

Sit-in protester Ian Terry told the BBC that they intended to leave the offices "peacefully" if they were forced out.

He said: "We are not going to resist but we are going to be in here as long as we can."

When it announced the sackings, Vestas said it had "made several attempts to encourage the employees participating in the occupation to discontinue their participation".

We are not going to resist but we are going to be in here as long as we can
Ian Terry, protesting worker

It said: "Vestas therefore, unfortunately, saw no other choice than to dismiss the 11 employees, who the company has positively identified as the employees currently participating in the occupation of the factory."

The workers are not union members but trade unionists have joined the campaign to keep the factory open, as have environmentalists.

The Campaign against Climate Change and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) organised a rally outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change in central London on Tuesday evening.

The Save Vestas rally called on the government to spend more on green energy.



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