Caroline Lucas, Green Euro-MP for the Isle of Wight and the South East, will join ex-Vestas workers at the ‘magic roundabout’ protest camp tomorrow (Friday 9 October) in solidarity with their continued fight to save green jobs. Dr Lucas MEP, who is also leader of the Green Party, will meet with workers, community representatives and campaigners at the camp, to discuss the ongoing protest against the loss of 600 jobs at the Vestas wind turbine manufacturing plant in Newport, which closed in the summer. *** PHOTO-CALL ***11.30am
The ‘magic roundabout’ IoW Vestas Blades protest siteSt Cross Industrial Estate, NewportIsle of Wight
Ahead of her visit, Dr Lucas said: “The decision to close the Isle of Wight facility represented a spectacular failure by Government ministers to adequately promote green industries, protect the future of manufacturing in this country and safeguard British jobs.
“This was a massive loss for the 600 skilled workers made redundant – and it made a mockery of the UK’s attempts to position itself as a leader in green energy and environmental policy. And now, as a reward for trying to defend their jobs, some of these workers are being deprived of their redundancy payouts. “An invigorated renewable energy industry could provide hundreds of thousands of skilled, green collar jobs, taking full advantage of the UK’s proud manufacturing heritage, while simultaneously tackling climate change. “The local authorities must now continue to push the Government for a Sustainable Community Strategy for the Isle of Wight and ensure that the workers have a direct say in the Council’s plans to enhance the renewables industry on the island.”
Dr Lucas MEP concluded “The time for empty promises on green jobs is over. If the Government can channel money into a new North East England wind turbine manufacturing facility, it should pledge financial aid and support for the Isle of Wight – including retraining workers where necessary, and finding new employment opportunities as soon as possible."