Vestas: towards a just transition


Many Plane Stupid activists have been down to the Isle of Wight to show our support and admiration for the Vesta's workers. This community has dared to take back some control of their futures away their bosses and from politicians too blind to see the symbolism of a wind turbine factory closing while promising Apollonian efforts to tackle climate change.

Contrast that with the aviation industry. New runways and promises of new jobs in the aviation sector look empty in a world of peak oil and a rapidly changing climate. The workers of Heathrow, Stansted, British Airways, Ryanair and the rest would do well to learn a lesson from this island community. When the dying Heathrow dream is finally abandoned they'll be left sitting on the cold tarmac whilst the bosses and their political cronies fly off with the last of the liquidated assets. The only solution is to wrestle back their fates and demand a just transition to a sustainable future.

Act now to demand a more sustainable future. Cabin crew should refuse to serve another packet of peanuts until there are enough jobs building windfarms and insulating lofts. Baggage handlers must not pack another plane until they're taught about the orchards and fields and helped to find jobs which support and strengthen local communties. We have to stop waving through development which will wreck the environment but offer up a couple of unsustainable shift jobs on minimum wage.

The transition to a low carbon economy can be brutal or it can be fair, but capital and capitalists will not adopt a system which distributes the most pain to those who can afford to pay it unless we force them. A just transition has to be fought for. When workers in the fossil fuels industries look to Vestas and start standing up for their futures then Plane Stupid would be proud to stand there with them. On Tuesday the courts will try to evict the Vestas workers. We'll be there to stop them.