Threat of Grangemouth refinery closure “is not a bluff”

The Chairman of INEOS says the threatened closure of the Grangemouth refinery “is not a bluff.” Jim Ratcliffe told the Sunday Times: “It’s really simple. The employees have a decision […]

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The Chairman of INEOS says the threatened closure of the Grangemouth refinery “is not a bluff.”

Jim Ratcliffe told the Sunday Times: “It’s really simple. The employees have a decision to make.”

He added: “They either want a future for Grangemouth and are prepared to accept change or they wish to continue to inflict damage on the company.

“This is not a bluff. The clock is ticking.”

Workers at the refinery have until six o’clock this evening to accept the company’s proposals, which were put to them on Thursday. The refinery has been closed since then, following a threatened strike, which was eventually called off.

INEOS has said for “safety reasons” the plant can’t be turned on and off at will and is refusing to get the site back up and running unless workers agree not to take any industrial action until March.

At the last count on Sunday the firm had received around 300 acceptances out of a workforce of 1,350.

The Unite union, which represents a majority of workers at the site, has been calling on its members not to accept the proposals and instead send the forms to them. It said it has received around 500 rejecting the offer.

Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Secretary said: “Our message is clear – we will not give in to the threats and menaces of INEOS.

“Once again I call on INEOS to drop the cynical blackmail, start the plant up and talk seriously about securing a future for Grangemouth.”

The union took out adverts in Scottish newspapers over the weekend and held a rally outside the site on Sunday.