Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 15:22 UK

Sit-in workers ignore court order

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

Six sit-in protesters at a wind turbine blade factory on the Isle of Wight are continuing their action despite a court granting a possession order.

Up to 25 demonstrators and workers barricaded themselves inside Vestas' Newport plant 15 days ago in a protest at plans to axe 625 jobs.

A worker said they would ignore the order and stay for as long as possible.

The firm will need to obtain a warrant before bailiffs can go in and evict those inside with 24 hours' notice.

Newport County Court told the BBC Vestas had not yet applied for a warrant of possession.

If the warrant is obtained, bailiffs will then need to be informed and give the protestors 24 hours' notice before going in.

Boos and jeers

One of the workers inside said: "If they have to get this warrant we will be happy to stay until they do it.

"Vestas has bullied us for too long so we will give them some of their own medicine.

"If and when we do have to come out we will do it peacefully but not before then."

He said those inside had packed their bags after hearing news of the possession order but these have been unpacked.

The roof-top protest coincides with the world-famous Cowes Week regatta

Four of the workers have left since the order was granted and six remain inside.

"One had a Land's End to John O'Groats charity cycle ride on Saturday and had to go to prepare.

"A few are going for personal reasons but there will always be someone here," the protester added.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, who was in court, said the union would continue with its campaign to save the jobs.

"The court has made its decision, but we will continue with our campaign and the right to work on green energy jobs."

Judge Graham White said he was satisfied that legal papers had been served on the group of 11 workers who have barricaded themselves into the factory.

The decision was greeted with boos and jeers by scores of climate change activists and members of the RMT union, who staged a protest outside the court.

A Vestas spokesman said: "We are as patient as we have been all along. We have been in wind turbines for 30 years - we are very patient in everything we do.

"We remain patiently optimistic, hoping for a peaceful solution in the interests of all parties, particularly the people inside."

Meanwhile five people have started a rooftop protest at Vestas' Venture Quays building in Cowes.

The four men and one woman have hung banners reading: "In solidarity with the Vestas workers" and "Fight for green jobs".

Vestas has blamed the plans to lay off the 625 workers on a drop in demand.

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