Grangemouth: Unite rep resigns

Stevie Deans, the Unite union official at the centre of the Grangemouth dispute, has resigned from his job at the plant, its owner Ineos has confirmed.

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Workers await decision over oil refinery

The owner of the Grangemouth plant is expected to announce whether it will reverse a shock decision to close the site, safeguarding hundreds of jobs.

Ineos has been discussing a change in position by the Unite union whose members now say they will commit to a plan aimed at securing its future.

The owner of the Grangemouth plant is expected to announce whether it will reverse a shock decision to close the site. Credit: PA Wire

The petrochemicals plant and adjoining oil refinery making up Scotland's largest industrial complex was shut down last week in advance of a planned walkout over pay and conditions.

Ineos did not restart the site after Unite called off the strike but wrote to staff asking them to sign up to changes such as a pay freeze and the closure of the final salary pension.

The company insisted on Wednesday it had no alternative but to close the plant after it failed to persuade its staff to accept the survival plan but Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said yesterday the union would embrace it "warts and all".

Salmond starts union talks on saving Grangemouth

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has begun talks with the Unite union over how to save 800 jobs at the Grangemouth petrochemical factory, which its owners plan to close.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has begun talks with the Unite union over the mooted Grangemouth closure. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Salmond is negotiating with Unite General secretary Len McCluskey and Unite's Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty. Mr McCluskey said earlier the union had decided to embrace a survival plan for the plant "warts and all".


Miliband: Union 'open to change' in Grangemouth talks

Labour leader Ed Miliband says he has spoken to Unite to urge it to find a negotiated settlement to the dispute over Grangemouth petrochemical plant.

He told ITV News he thinks there has been "very significant movement on the union side" and that it may be "open to changing some of the terms and conditions".

Return to Grangemouth talks is 'pragmatism at its best'

The leader of Unite, Len McCluskey, has denied a climbdown over the Grangemouth plant dispute calling the union's decision to return to talks "pragmatism at its best".

He told Sky News the plant was "too important" to close and that he is "optimistic that the olive branch that has been offered to [plant owners] Ineos will be taken up".

Mr McCluskey also accused Ineos of presenting workers with a "list of demands" that they had "very little time to consider".


Workers to learn fate of refinery after union proposals

Workers at an oil refinery are expected to learn later whether last-ditch union proposals could salvage the plant.

Thousands of jobs are under threat after the shock decision to close the operation at Grangemouth in Scotland, following a dispute over pay and conditions.

Owner Ineos said it would appoint liquidators within the next few days after the workforce was split 50/50 on a survival plan for the loss-making site, which included accepting a pay freeze and the closure of the final salary pension scheme.

Unite said it had made fresh proposals in a "last-ditch" effort to save the plant, which members are planning to present to Ineos at a meeting today, according to reports.

Scottish Labour leader slams 'Dickensian' owner

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has urged Grangemouth oil refinery owners to return to the negotiation table with their workers instead of behaving in a "Dickensian" way that "cannot be tolerated."

Workers walk through the Granegmouth oil refinery in Falkirk following the announcement by Ineos. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Mr Lamont said the closure was a "hammer blow" to the whole of the UK and criticised Ineos for "threatening" their staff.

"It cannot be right in 21st century Scotland that an employer demands that a worker accepts cuts to their wages, their pensions and their conditions, and are told to either agree to them within 96 hours or face the sack.

"That is a Dickensian way for an employer to behave and cannot be tolerated.

"There is a committed workforce at Grangemouth. If the Ineos management is equally committed to their business they will negotiate with their workers, not threaten them."

Unite: Closing Grangemouth 'industrial vandalism'

Unite's Scottish secretary accused Ineos owner Jim Ratcliffe of holding his workforce and the country to ranson by closing the petrochemical side of the Grangemouth site following a bitter row over pay and conditions.

Unite hit out at Ineos owner Jim Ratcliffe, saying the closure confirms workers' fears that this was the intention all along. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Pat Rafferty said:

"Unite and our members at Grangemouth are devastated by the announcement this morning of the closure of the petrochemical plant. It has confirmed our fears that this was the intention of Ineos all along."

"We have made further proposals in a last-ditch effort to stave off these catastrophic job losses which we believe is tantamount to economic and industrial vandalism."

"Make no mistake - one man is holding this workforce and this country to ransom and that man is the Ineos owner, Jim Ratcliffe."

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