Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 16:26 UK

Sit-in protesters' 'food blocked'

Protest by supporters of the sit-in protest
Seven supporters of the sit-in were arrested in London

Workers staging a sit-in at a closure-threatened wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight are again being denied food parcels, a union boss has claimed.

More than 20 workers are protesting for a 14th day at the Vestas turbine blade plant over plans to cut 625 jobs.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), said it had reported blocked food deliveries to the police.

Vestas has supplied twice daily meals but the RMT says that is not enough.

But Peter Kruse, Vestas spokesman, told the BBC: "We wouldn't let other food in as we are looking after them and as far as I know we have never had a complaint about the food.

"The people inside are free to leave if they don't like what is on the menu."

Meanwhile seven people have been arrested after apparently using super-glue to stick themselves together at the Department of Energy and Climate Change in support of the Vestas workers.

They carried placards that read "take back the wind power".

The seven were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and taken to a central London police station.

The Vestas factory was due to shut on 31 July but is now set to close on 10 August.

They will go on hunger strike if necessary
Bob Crow
RMT general secretary

The RMT has accused Vestas of trying to "starve" the workers out by using security guards to restrict access to food and drink.

One worker has already been forced to leave on medical advice after his blood sugar levels were found to be seriously low.

Mr Crow said the union would be going to the High Court later to seek an injunction to allow more food in.

"They [the protesters] are going to keep on going, they will go on hunger strike if necessary. They are not leaving there," he told BBC News.

The RMT lodged a formal complaint to police after receiving advice from a human rights lawyer.

Workers sacked

The union said it believed it had reached a deal to take hot food in to the workers over the weekend, but said supplies were blocked on Sunday night and Monday.

Supporters turned out in the rain to hold a rally outside the building on Saturday and representatives were allowed to deliver bags of food.

Vestas protest
Vestas has blamed the closure on a drop in demand

The protesters claim up to 25 of them have been inside the factory. Eleven workers identified by the firm have been sacked.

Vestas is to seek repossession of the factory in a court case on the Isle of Wight on Tuesday.

The Danish firm's bid to have the workers removed failed last week when a judge ruled papers had not been served in accordance with legal rules.

Vestas blamed the closure of the factory on a lack of demand for wind turbines in the UK.


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