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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  1. Damon Green - ITV News Correspondent

Half of Grangemouth's population face a stark choice

This decision effectively splits the town of Grangemouth in two: Just over half the people who work on the site are going to lose their jobs, and just under half will get to keep them.

Workers leaving the Grangemouth plant after today's meeting with Ineos Credit: ITV News

The reason is very simple: The refinery, which employs 570 people, is likely to survive. The petrochemical works, which employs 800 people, is going to the wall. Managers say it is very unlikely that a buyer is going to be found.

This plant is very important for the Scottish economy, but for the life of Grangemouth it is absolutely critical. Directly or indirectly, it provides every single job here.

I spoke to one young man about his options. He said he had two: Go on the dole or move to Saudi Arabia, and that is the choice facing many people in this town.

Salmond will 'not accept' closure at Grangemouth

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has said he is "not accepting that we are going to have a closure" at the Grangemouth facility.

"I am not prepared to give up on Grangemouth and I don't think anyone else should be either," he told BBC News.

Mr Salmond said that Ineos' management and the union were "inches away" from an agreement, which ultimately failed because of "nuances in the wording".

He called for a final effort to bring the two sides together.

Read: Workers emotional after Grangemouth meeting

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Falkirk MP slams union's 'stupid' decision to strike

The MP for Falkirk, the constituency where the Grangemouth plant is located, has strongly criticised the Unite union for failing to agree a plan to save jobs.

MP Eric Joyce Credit: PA Wire

Writing on his personal blog, Eric Joyce said the union called a strike "over a pathetic and petty issue related to Labour Party internal politics".

He also sounded a note of skepticism about the chances of finding another buyer for the plant: "What’s the proposition as it stands? Come and enjoy a non-relationship with a militant union acting with its workers’ interests at the bottom of its priorities?"

Unite had been accused of unduly influencing the selection process to find a replacement Labour candidate for Falkirk after Mr Joyce left the party - but an internal inquiry cleared union members of any wrongdoing.

PM's spokesman: Fuel supplies still being delivered

The Prime Minister's official spokesman has said that "fuel supplies are continuing to be delivered" despite today's decision to close part of the Grangemouth plant.

"Of course, Government has contingency plans for a range of scenarios, as you would expect," he added.

He described the decision as "disappointing" and urged both workers and Ineos to "find a way to continue their dialogue".

Workers emotional after Grangemouth meeting

Some workers looked emotional as they left a meeting at Grangemouth in which their employer Ineos announced plans to close the petrochemical side of the plant.

Workers leave the meeting at Grangemouth oil refinery in Falkirk, Scotland Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire
Grangemouth workers talking after the meeting Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire
Grangemouth workers leaving the site after today's meeting Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

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No 10: Government 'won't bail out Grangemouth'

A Number 10 spokesman has told reporters the Government will not be providing a financial bail out or nationalise Grangemouth oil refinery after its owners announced it would close the petrochemical plant:

Energy Secretary: Grangemouth closure 'regrettable'

Energy Secretary Ed Davey has said he is "saddened" to hear that the petrochemical plant at Grangemouth will close.

He urged Ineos to continue "dialogue with the workforce" to keep the oil refinery part open:

I am saddened to hear of Ineos’ plans to place petrochemicals business into administration, particularly because of the impact it will have on the workforce and local community.

While respecting Ineos’ right to make this decision, it is regrettable that both parties have not managed to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement that delivers a viable business model for the plant ...

Fuel supplies continue to be delivered as usual and there is no current risk of disruption to supplies.

– Energy secretary ed davey

AA warns of possible spike in fuel prices

The President of the AA has warned that petrol prices could rise as a result of closures at Grangemouth and other refineries in Europe:

This closure is a major blow for the workers involved, local employment and indeed the fuel supply chain.

The AA is concerned with the impact of this refinery closure. The European commodity trading houses have been predicting the loss of five to six refinery plants over the next two years.

In March/April of last year, with the closure of refineries and the impending start of the US motoring season, wholesale prices went up by 20 percent, adding 8p to 10p to a litre of petrol. The spike was short-lived because US drivers cut back and some of the refineries were bought. However, the damage was done and a new UK petrol record (142.48p a litre) was set.

Let us hope this decision can be reversed.

– Edmund King, president, aa
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