Scotland: Bosses announce closure of Grangemouth petrochemical plant

Unions’ decisive plan of action need to defeat this act of corporate vandalism

Without a moments’ thought to the human cost, Ineos bosses yesterday announced the closure of the petrochemical plant at Grangemouth with the loss of 800 jobs. They intend to put that arm of their business into liquidation meaning workers may face losing thousands of pounds in redundancy payments. The oil refinery and the jobs of another 600 workers remain in jepoardy, the result of a lockout by billionaire owner, Jim Ratcliffe. The next hours and days are vital in ensuring the building of a mass campaign to fight to save the Grangemouth plant and retain the jobs and terms and conditions of the workforce.

An urgent mass meeting of Unite union members at Grangemouth should be organised. The shop stewards at Grangemouth should draw up a plan of action to put to the workers to seek to defeat this act of corporate vandalism by Ineos. Decisive action by Unite, including the occupation of an appropriate part of the site, would gain mass support and apply huge political pressure on the Scottish government to carry through the nationalisation of the plant. Unite should now demand the nationalisation of Grangemouth.

But this is a struggle that Unite members at Grangemoth cannot be left to fight on their own. It is one for the entire trade union movement in Scotland and beyond. The Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) should call an immediate ‘council of war’ of trade unions and shop stewards from across the trade movement to plan a mass solidarity campaign, including calling a Scotland-wide demonstration in the next couple of weeks.

Socialist Party Scotland trade unionists have drafted a resolution for trade union bodies in support of workers at Grangemouth:

Resolution for trade union organisations:

The announcement by Ineos that they intend to pull out of the Grangemouth petrochemical site with the threatened loss of up to 800 jobs is an act of corporate vandalism. The oil refinery remains shut and the workers effectively locked out.

Ineos management and its majority owner, billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, are 100% responsible for this scandal. They have shut-down the entire Grangemouth site to force the workers to accept savage cuts in terms and conditions.

We congratulate Unite members and their shop stewards at Grangemouth for their refusal to be bullied. Around 70% of Unite members rejected the sign or be sacked ultimatum from Ineos management.

Ineos have also attempted to break the union at Grangemouth by victimising a leading shop steward and undermining the bargaining power of workers.

We believe that the struggle to defend jobs and trade union rights at Grangemouth is one for all trade unionists and is one of the most important the trade union movement has faced in years.

This union branch/organisation agrees to:

  • Offer our full support to workers and Unite at Grangemouth in the building of a mass campaign to retain the jobs and the terms and conditions at the site as a vital economic lifeline.
  • Support workers in the action that they take, including occupation of appropriate parts of the plant, in their campaign to retain the site and jobs at Grangemouth.
  • Demand that Ineos open the books to trade union inspection to show the real financial position of the company.
  • Call on the Scottish government and UK governments to immediately bring Grangemouth into democratic public ownership to secure jobs and investment. To also support public ownership with majority participation by workers and the trade unions in the running of the plant.
  • Call on the STUC to organise an urgent Scotland-wide demonstration in support of the workers at Grangemouth in the next couple of weeks.
  • Support workers and shop stewards at Grangemouth in defending trade union rights, wages and pensions.
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