Concerns grow at Grangemouth Ineos plant

Workers at the Ineos plant in Grangemouth are reported to be concerned about a number of issues
Workers at the Ineos plant in Grangemouth are reported to be concerned about a number of issues

Union members at Ineos in Grangemouth are reported to be unhappy at a range of issues, including management treatment of one of their senior officials.

It is understood a mass meeting at the site a fortnight ago gave unanimous support to colleague Steven Deans who was briefly suspended by the management for his involvement in an alleged ‘vote rigging’ scandal over the selection of a Labour candidate to fight the Falkirk Constitency at the next General Election.

But it is also thought unrest was expressed at plans the company apparently has for Grangemouth, with the fear it could impact on wages and conditions.

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This week neither side was available for comment, but a worker, who asked not be named, said: “We were called in to hear the latest on the Stevie Deans situation but the meeting then moved on to other issues which were a cause for concern.

‘‘The attempt by the company to suspend one of the union’s most experienced representatives over the selection row did not go down well with anybody in the first place, the clear majority were very unhappy about that.

‘‘But in a sense we were left to think about a few other issues after being given an outline about what Ineos might be planning for the future.

“There has been a lot of unrest recently, even more than usual for an operation of this size.

‘‘Our union is trying to keep us informed, but there is a lot of uncertainty about and nobody really knows for sure what could be around the corner.”

After the row over the selection process for the Falkirk constituency broke, the Labour Party suspended Mr Deans, who is the head of Unite in Scotland, and potential candidate Karie Murphy and has since ordered an internal inquiry.

The union meeting on August 27 followed a summit earlier in the month at a local hotel addressed by general secretary Len McCluskey who defended Mr Deans’ position and insisted Unite has broken neither the rules of the Labour Party nor the law by organising a recruitment drive and that he “has no case to answer”.

The Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical facility is the largest Ineos production centre. On the 1700-acre site, the petrochemicals facility manufactures over one million tonnes of chemical products a year and the refinery has an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes.