Sacked workers to open new wind turbine factory
Workers who lost their jobs when an Isle of Wight wind turbine factory closed down plan to open their own turbine plant on the same industrial estate as the former business.
More than 400 workers became redundant when Danish wind power giant Vestas shut its Isle of Wight factory last year, sparking an 18-day sit-in at the factory in Newport.
The new company, Sureblades, will start producing micro wind turbine blades in September and will employ a number of ex-Vestas workers, according to founder Sean McDonagh, who was one of the protest's leaders.
A wind energy company in Ireland has placed the first order and McDonagh said he hopes to employ more than 40 workers within two years.
"It has been hard work but I always knew it was the right thing to do because it was crazy to lose jobs in the renewable energy industry," he said.
Some Vestas employees are still out of work and others have taken on short-contract jobs, McDonagh said, noting that unemployment on the Isle of Wight is over 3,500 but there are fewer than 200 job vacancies on the island.
(c) 2010 AFP