23 October 2013 – The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has described as outrageous the decision to close the Grangemouth petrochemical facility with the probable loss of over 700 jobs. The ITF stands ready to offer all lawful support to ensure Unite achieves an acceptable negotiated settlement for its members.
Eleven hundred members of ITF affiliate Unite the Union are under attack from the facility’s multinational corporation owner, Ineos, which is pushing the workforce to accept the imposition of changes to pay and other terms and conditions of employment as well as the ending of its pension scheme based on a worker’s final salary.
Unite has called on the company to engage in a reasonable timetable of negotiations to achieve a new agreement which is fair to all parties. Ineos has shut the refinery and is threatening to keep it shut permanently if the union does not accept the sub-standard terms it has laid out.
ITF president and chair of the dockers’ section Paddy Crumlin said: “Today’s announcement is outrageous. This action by Ineos is a direct attack on the union, which has almost 100 per cent membership at Grangemouth. But it’s not just an attack on the union and the workforce, it’s an attack on communities and the Scottish economy too.
“Just as Unite cannot accept a sub-standard offer which lays out depleted terms and conditions for its members, the Scottish people and the government cannot accept a company which clearly has no social conscience being in charge of a facility which controls something like 12 per cent of the Scottish national economy. This site cannot be allowed to close and we join Unite it its call for a new owner to come forward or for the Scottish Government to take the operation under public control.”
Grangemouth supplies petrol and diesel across the whole of Scotland and the North of England.