Grangemouth workers backtrack and accept deal in bid to avoid closure of petrochemical plant


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The Independent Online

Staff at the Grangemouth petrochemical plant have decided to embrace a survival plan, a day after their rejection of it prompted the closure of the business.

Unite’s leader Len McCluskey said the union was working to persuade Ineos, the chemicals company that owns the plant, to reverse its decision on Wednesday to close the petrochemical complex.

Mr McCluskey said the shop stewards had decided to back the survival plan “warts and all” in the wake of the decision to close the business, with the expected loss of all 800 jobs. “We’re not going to let this plant close,” he said.

David Cameron said he was “hopeful” that a deal could be reached.

Tom Crotty, a director of Ineos, said the company was hoping to see a “very significant” change to the union’s stance.

“The management team will listen to hear what Unite has said. If they believe there are substantive differences in where we are now then clearly they have a duty to take that back to the shareholders,” he said.

About half of the 1,370-strong workforce rejected the proposed changes to contracts earlier this week, which included a two-year pay freeze from 2014 to 2016, removal of a bonus up to 2016 and the end of the final-salary pension scheme.