UNION leaders have today called for urgent talks with the government over the future of the Vestas Wind Systems wind turbine factory.

Around 25 workers have been occupying the Vestas Wind Systems plant on the Isle of Wight in a bid to stop the factory closing next week with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Dozens of climate change and environmental activists have set up a camp outside the site in support of the workers.

As reported in today’s Daily Echo, workers and protestors last night vowed to continue with the occupation for “ month or more”.

The workers have been told that the Danish owners will go to court next week to seek a possession order to stop the occupation.

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union said today it will give legal assistance to the workers and also called for talks with Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband to try to save the factory.

General Secretary Bob Crow said the union was making arrangements to get food, water and other supplies into the factory, including the possible use of a helicopter, to prevent the workers from being ''starved into submission''.

Mr Crow said: ''The whole of the trade union and environmental movement should be proud of the courage and determination being shown by the workers at Vestas in the teeth of threats and intimidation.

''We all have a duty to ensure they are not beaten into submission.

''This dispute brings together two crucial issues - the right to protection from companies which abuse the law to hire and fire, and the right to live in a world where the environment and sustainability are priorities.

''The Government stands accused of sheer hypocrisy over its public announcements on climate change while our only wind turbine factory faces the axe.

''If the Government can nationalise the banks at the drop of a hat there is no reason why they can't nationalise Vestas.''

A total of five arrests have been made at the site since the protest started on Monday evening. The latest arrests were of a 41-year-old man from London on suspicion of criminal damage and a 23-year-old man on suspicion of failing to comply with a condition for a public assembly.

Previous clashes over attempts by supporters to send in food to the office occupied by the 25 protesters have not been repeated after management delivered supplies.

Speaking to the Daily Echo from inside the plant, Vestas worker Mark Smith said: “Vestas have agreed to let us have food now. They sent up some sandwiches, orange juice and cereal bars, but only enough for ten people so we had to share it out.”

He said that despite pressure from the company to end the protest and vacate the building, they had no plans to do so.

He added: “The atmosphere in here is great. There was a big demo outside in support of us and we feel reasonably optimistic.

“The company are still telling us we need to get out but everyone in here now is totally comitted. I’m not sure how long it’ll be but I came here expecting to stay a month or more.

“We are hoping they will change their mind. We want to restart negotiations with them.”

Danish-owned Vestas has consistently refused to comment throughout the protest but it is understood that the company gave activists an ultimatum to leave by Tuesday night or face losing their redundancy money.

Vestas Wind Systems, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines, has claimed that the sites must close because demand for turbines has fallen in northern Europe.