Petrochemcial giant Ineos stated it will meet Unite this afternoon at the ACAS offices in Glasgow in an attempt to avert this weekend’s strike at the Grangemouth plant.
The company announced the talks are intended to find a way to resolve the dispute over Stephen Deans, an employee representative on the site and to prevent the 48 hour strike planned to run from Sunday.
There is already a work-to-rule and overtime ban at the local plant over union claims Mr Deans has been treated unfairly by management.
Ineos has now started the costly process of shutting the plant down in anticipation of the action.
Calum MacLean, Ineos Grangemouth chairman, said: “We have always been prepared to go to ACAS if this helps to resolve a strike that Grangemouth petrochemical plant and refinery cannot afford. We hope to be able to resolve the dispute and address the financial issues that threaten the survival of the entire site.
“Unite’s decision to strike is completely irresponsible. It could effectively shut much of Scotland. We were in meetings with Unite and told them we would be willing to go to ACAS.”
Pat Rafferty, Unite’s Scottish Secretary, said: “Unite remains convinced a matter of this importance requires mediation, which is why we invited to Ineos meet us at ACAS offices.
“Clearly it is good news that some common sense has broken out at the company and that it has now accepted the earlier offer from Unite, one that they had hitherto rejected, to keep the plant on hot standby.
“This will uphold the safety of the plants and ensure the Forties field line is operational. The integrity and safety of the site has always been of paramount importance to Unite.”
According to Ineos its Grangemouth petrochemical site is facing serious trading issues, having lost a reported £576 million over the last four years and is currently losing over £10 million per month.