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Workers occupy Vestas plant in closure protest
LONDON (Reuters) - About 25 workers at Britain's largest wind turbine plant owned by Danish Vestas were staging a sit-in on Wednesday to protest at the planned closure of the factory.
Wind turbine maker Vestas said it would shut down its Isle of Wight factory by the end of July and had offered its about 600 workers redundancy, one of the workers at the protest told Reuters.
"We are determined to continue as long as it takes to negotiate the situation," said Ian Terry, 23. "We were told that when we leave we will be arrested and prosecuted."
Terry said the factory was closed but a spokeswoman for Vestas declined to comment on the occupation.
"It is a profitable company and the workers don't believe there is any ground to close the factory," said Bob Crow, general secretary for the transport union RMT, which is supporting the protest.
"The government should nationalise the factory, protect the jobs and show that they are walking the talk when it come to green and renewable energy."
Last week, Britain announced plans to double the share of its electricity generated from low carbon sources by 2020 as part of plans to cut emissions and counter global warming.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said 40 percent of Britain's electricity would come from nuclear, wind, solar, marine and cleaner coal, compared with a fifth today.
A large proportion of wind energy projects have been cancelled over the past year due to difficulties in raising capital due to the recession, impacting wind turbine manufacturers such as Vestas.
(Additional reporting by Nina Chestney, reporting by HUmeyra Pamuk, Editing by Keiron Henderson)
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