Talks begin to save chemical plant

GrangemouthUnion leaders are to meet managers at the giant Grangemouth site in a bid to save thousands of jobs following the shock decision to close the petrochemcal side of the business.

Unite said it had made a number of recommendations to owner Ineos, which yesterday announced the closure of the petrochemical plant with the loss of 800 jobs and potential 2,000 more among contractors.

A union spokesman said: "Unite has made recommendations to Ineos as way to save jobs and prevent needless harm to this plant and the local community.

"We meet with the company today and will hear then if they share these objectives."
The company insisted yesterday it had no alternative but to close the business after it failed to persuade its staff to accept a survival plan, which included a pay freeze, ending of a final salary pension scheme and other changes to terms and conditions.

Ineos said white-collar workers such as admin staff had backed the plan, but workers represented by Unite had rejected it.

The adjoining oil refinery at Grangemouth will stay open, although the entire site has been closed for the past week as a result of the dispute.

Almost 1,400 workers are employed at Grangemouth, Scotland's biggest industrial site.

Politicians have urged the two sides to resume talks to prevent the closure, while efforts are expected to be made to find a potential buyer.

Ineos said it had been losing £10 million a month at Grangemouth.