Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

Wind turbine protesters evicted

Wind turbines
Vestas says the market for wind turbines is beginning to improve

Workers laid off when a wind turbine blade factory on the Isle of Wight was closed down have been evicted from a protest camp set up outside the site.

A 41-year-old woman, from Brighton, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a bailiff and remains in custody.

The camp, on a roundabout at an industrial estate opposite the Vestas factory at Newport, was set up with the support of climate activists.

Hundreds of jobs went when the factory shut despite a sit-in by workers.

The Danish firm blamed the factory closure on a lack of demand in the UK.

A Hampshire police spokesman said Friday's evection passed peacefully and all protesters had now left the roundabout.

It was carried out after landowners MJH Developments secured a possession order on Tuesday.

The camp activists had said they wanted full redundancy pay for those who took part in the occupation, which lasted 19 days.

'Behaving appallingly'

"It would cost Vestas around £45,000 to pay the workers," a spokesman for the camp said.

"Instead they've been paying for security, using the police as their personal army and are now paying for bailiffs to move us on.

"Vestas is behaving appallingly. Our demands remain constant and the fight for climate justice and the workers' struggle goes on."

Vestas has not commented on the eviction, but has said it would be willing to return to UK manufacturing when the market is stable and "large enough to justify it".

In October, Vestas reported a 70% jump in quarterly net profits on the previous year.

While 425 people lost their jobs, nearly 60 employees were told they could continue working at Newport "for months" to help clear the site.

Another 40 workers were found new roles in the firm's research and development facility on the island.

The sit-in protest inside the site ended in August, with a simultaneous rooftop protest on the Vestas Venture Quays building in Cowes, lasting 11 days, ending soon after.

The occupation of the Newport factory ended when bailiffs evicted the protesters.

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