Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 09:44 UK

Night on roof for sit-in support

The protesters on the Venture Quays building in Cowes
Five people have started a further protest at a Vestas site in Cowes

Five people have spent the night on a rooftop on the Isle of Wight over the planned closure of a wind turbine blade factory, with the loss of 625 jobs.

They climbed the Vestas Venture Quays building in Cowes on Tuesday, during the Cowes Week regatta.

They are supporting six protesters who are continuing a sit-in protest at the Vestas factory in Newport.

The Danish firm won a possession order on Tuesday but the Newport workers are refusing to go until bailiffs arrive.

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

Three workers left the sit-in for personal reasons on Tuesday while one had to leave to prepare for a charity cycle ride.

We remain patiently optimistic, hoping for a peaceful solution in the interests of all parties
Vestas spokesman

But six workers remain inside.

The Rail and Maritime (RMT) union said that at times up to 25 people were involved in the sit-in inside the factory.

Martin Shaw, 44, who spent the night at the Cowes protest, said: "We are still up here and will stay for as long as the workers stay in Newport.

"It is uncomfortable but not as uncomfortable as losing your job.

"We have seen good local support and are getting more banners put up today.

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

"We have been told to come down on safety grounds but apart from everything being at an angle, due to the slope of the roof, everything has been fine."

One of the Cowes protesters is a member of the RMT but is not believed to be a Vestas worker.

The other four - three men and one woman - said they were from the "climate camp" and were not from the island.

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."

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



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