UNITE Successfully Closes petrochemical plant at Grangemouth

Here the Labour parties media department says

Ineos says the petrochemical plant at Grangemouth is to close while the oil refinery will remain open.

Around 800 jobs will be affected by the closure.

In total Grangemouth employs 1,370 staff and a dispute between union members and staff remains unresolved.

The loss of the petrochemicals plant is a major blow and now the focus will be on the refinery which is a key part of the Scottish and UK economy.

Melanie Hampton says on her Facebook page

Unite should be ashamed of themselves. The Grangemouth plant is losing money and it is no longer sustainable. The Scottish government offered £8 million and central government £125 million in investment but they had to negotiate with the workforce. The majority of the administrative staff agreed to changes in terms and conditions but the shop floor, driven by Unite refused any concessions. The result, 800 workers have now lost their jobs. The private sector cannot survive without profit and global investors just move elsewhere if the work force is too dogmatic. Sad day for Grangemouth.

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4 Responses to UNITE Successfully Closes petrochemical plant at Grangemouth

  1. Jack R says:

    As a local union rep, I don’t pretend to know all the facts surrounding Grangemouth. But if what is being reported is correct, then it means that the employers told Unite that either the workers accept the new deal on the table (admittedly inferior to current pay and conditions) or the plant would be uneconomic to continue and that it would close.

    Did those union rep negotiators make this clear to the workers that their jobs would be on the line if they voted no? If not, they (the reps) should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for playing with people’s lives. I reckon many of the people would prefer to keep their job and livelihood (in anticipation of better times down the line when conditions improve) rather than being kicked out, and should have been recommended to the members to vote Yes. But instead it would seem that they were very poorly advised by Unite.

  2. Jack R says:

    I’ve now seen some Red LenEd Mclusky’s comments about this dispute. I think he must still be on another planet (or maybe Comet Ison if it hasn’t yet been eliminated by the sun).

    He has said “I have no problem defending what we did at Grangemouth… Some will say this was a defeat as we accepted changes to some jobs. I applaud the team on the ground as they responded to the workers wishes to keep open almost at any cost… I express absolute and unconditional solidarity with Stevie Deans who has stood up for his members and his community…

    “The question of why we did not prepare the workers better is a good one… It was a shock to everyone that Ineos was prepared to shut the plant down. Unions tend to be more reactive than proactive…
    “At Grangemouth the company was looking to discipline and sack Stevie Deans. The workers reacted to support him. The company then placed a “survival plan” on the table with a threat to close…The workers believed the company was not bluffing. Shop stewards took the view that the plant had to stay open in order to save the town…”

    Later in the event one of Len’s friends then says “… I do not remember the 1970’s as the “winter of discontent”. I remember it as the time of greatest equality …”

    There you have it from the horse’s mouth- a union stuck in the 1970s and clearly oblivious to the economic collapse to which unions had driven the United Kingdom. It was down to Margaret Thatcher to bring about national recovery & take some of the excessive power away from the unions.

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