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."

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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.