Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Viva La Vesta Factory Protest

We have many things to admire about the French. Hmmm, let me try that again.
There are some things we have to admire the French for. One more go.
The one thing we have to admire the French for is their workers willingness to raise blue murder if they think they are being shafted.
News of redundancies have seen them occupying their places of work, kidnapping their bosses and in one case placing gas cylinders about the building and threatening to blow the place up if bosses didn't reconsider their plans. You have to admire that level of passion and it is good to see that the idea has caught on and these ideas have circulated to other workers who are doing the same thing.
Workers at the Vesta factory on the sleepy isle of Wight have tonight occupied their wind turbine factory amid demands that the Government intervene and nationalise if necessary, to save the 600 jobs which are to be moved out of the country.
Danish company Vestas is the world's biggest wind turbines maker, posting a 51% rise in 2008 operating profit and riding a surge in demand for renewable energy that saw an operating profit of £68m for the last quarter.
The workers want Gordon Brown to step in as if it was a troubled bank and save the jobs and keep making wind turbine blades. He handed the bankers hundreds of billions and threw billions more at the car industry so it will be interesting to see how keen he is to save these 600 on a island already facing above average unemployment.
Hope the protesters have plenty of food and water as they could be there for some time. Viva la IOW.


Chris said...

I imagine that as they are making such a healthy profit, vestas is closing their factory as a streamlining exercise or to move where they can to pay the workers less to make even more profits. They don't care about the 600 jobs because big business only care about the size of their profits and the workers can go hang.
I'm all for direct action against greedy companies like vesta.

Cody Bones said...

ummm dumb question, but wouldn't cheaper wind turbines help the proliferation of renewable energy thereby making us all a little safer from the corporate evils of global warming? Just a thought.

Oh, other dumb question. Wouldn't the area in the world that receives these 600 or so jobs be pretty happy?

Noah "Nog" said...

Yeah... This whole "direct action" stuff. It's a touching euphemism for a class of violent and anti-social acts that individuals carry out to further their own selfish economic interests.

I don't care how many damned workers got laid off when cars replaced buggies. The world moves forward. This whole "saving jobs" idea is bunk. Must I explain what a "job" means? Everyone here is wise-enough to figure out that it means money.

If anyone tried to pull crap like that in Texas...


Lucy said...

A company which makes a profit of £68m in 3 months then wants to move eleswhere so it can make an even bigger profit and will decimate a small island where unemployment is above avaerage into the bargain.
That's beyond greedy and i am all for the little people taking action to stick it to people who put money before everything else.

Cody Bones said...

"decimate a small island"

So we should save all small islands or just this one?

"A company which makes a profit of £68m in 3 months"

That means that people are buying into alternative energy, I would think that would make you happy. Or would you rather they sold less windmills?

"i am all for the little people taking action"

Is there ever a situation where you would consider losing jobs to be a good thing? ie Nog's Buggy whip analogy.

Lucy said...

Any area where there is already higher than average unemployment should be focused upon. If it's a small island off the south coast as in this case or a city in the North of England as has been the case for a decade, it should get the attention.

The company is the largest of its kind selling wind turbines and it is turning over a very healthy profit so they are being sold whether they are being made here or in India or Norway. If anything as demand grows, the price will increase. The problem is where to put them, not how much they cost.

If a company was losing money, could not gain enough work or could not attract enough employees from that area then it is fair enough if it packs up. In this case it is making millions, has a keen workforce and is selling a product that is in demand.

I would be keen to know how you or Nog would react if you were told your firm were moving to another country and you lived in an area where jobs where sparse at the best of times? Would you just shrug and say that it was just the world moving on as you walk down to the unemployment office for your £60 per week?

Cheezy said...

I'm off to the Isle of Wight in September - for Bestival - so I'll be sure to give the Vesta workers a big shout out.

Lucy said...

The police have put up a 7ft high fence around the factory to stop supporters taking in food and drink. They plan to starve them out it seems.
They may need catapults and picnic baskets now.

Cody Bones said...

There is a reason economics is called "The Dismal Science"

Lucy said...

Economics is hard enough to understand without bringing science into it Cody!!