Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 14:37 UK

Sit-in workers leave Vestas site


A worker jumped to the ground but was not seriously hurt

Workers who staged a sit-in protest at a wind turbine blade factory on the Isle of Wight have left the building.

Bailiffs entered the offices of Vestas in Newport at 1200 BST after the firm was granted a possession order.

One man jumped from a balcony and was taken to hospital as a precaution and two abseiled from a wall.

Workers had occupied an office inside the plant since 20 July in protest at plans to axe 625 jobs, which the firm said was due to a fall in demand.

Bailiffs were told they could use "reasonable force" to remove the remaining six workers after a court order was issued on Thursday.

It was all a bit bewildering to get out but a big relief

Crowds of supporters lined the site cheering on the men before they were were spoken to by police.

They had raised a sign from a balcony outside which said "Vestas, this is only the start, you will lose."

One of the workers told the BBC: "It was all a bit bewildering to get out but a big relief.

"I hugged my daughter who shed a few tears and saw my family.

"We feel that we have won a moral victory."

A rooftop demonstration at a second Vestas site in East Cowes, by climate change protesters, is set to continue for "as long" as the workers want it to, a spokesman said.

Vestas is closing the Newport site because it says the UK wind turbine market was not big enough.

Lack of orders

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which has supported the protesters during the sit-in, accused its owners of "kicking the legs" from under a rescue package that could have saved it from closure.

Bob Crow, of the RMT, met with energy minister Joan Ruddock on Thursday to discuss the future of the factory.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said it would not comment on private meetings, but added that discussions had been held with Vestas over the closure.

The company has said that subsidies were not the issue and the factory was closing because of a lack of orders.

Peter Kruse, spokesman for Vestas told the BBC that there was "no such rescue package".

He added: "What they need to do is to get the UK market onshore going.

"The government is doing all it can but it does take time."

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