Two-day strike planned at Ineos in Grangemouth

Pat Rafferty of the Unite union.
Pat Rafferty of the Unite union.
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Workers in Ineos in Grangemouth are to strike for two days in the continuing row over the treatment of a union official.

There is already a work-to-rule and overtime ban at the local plant over claims that Stephen Deans has been treated unfairly.

Meanwhile, the company has accused workers of endangering the future of the operation which they insist could close by 2017 if major changes aren’t made.

Unite warned drivers of ­potential disruption to fuel supplies ­because of the walkout, from Sunday, 20 October.

Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “A damaging strike may shut down the Grangemouth site, with serious ramifications for fuel production and supply throughout Scotland and the north of England.”

However, plant operator Ineos said it had “high” fuel stocks at Grangemouth and a contingency plan to use the site as an import terminal to bring additional fuel in by sea if necessary.

Ineos chairman, Calum MacLean, said: “Unite’s decision to strike is completely irresponsible.” And he added: “The strike could tip Grangemouth over the edge.”

Motoring groups urged drivers not to panic-buy, because the strike is only due to last two days. An Automobile Association spokesman said: “Most drivers fill up every fortnight, so the only reason this will become a problem is if they fill up outside their normal routine.’’