Deadline approaches for workers at Ineos Grangemouth

Unite members make their feelings clear during Sunday's rally.
Unite members make their feelings clear during Sunday's rally.

There are only a matter of hours left for Ineos employees to sign up to new terms and conditions at the crisis-hit plant in Grangemouth.

The deadline is up at 6 p.m. today and Ineos stated it had received around 300 responses from the 1350-strong workforce, supporting the changes to pensions and pay detailed in the firm’s Survival Plan, formulated to offset the millions of pounds of losses it has reportedly made over the last few years.

However, union Unite, which staged a rally against Ineos and its “intimidation tactics” at the site on Sunday, said it had received over 500 forms rejecting the offer.

The petrochemical site was shut down last week ahead of a planned strike by Unite members and remains closed despite the action, which had been due to begin on Sunday over a dispute concerning union member Stephen Deans, being called off.

Speakers at Sunday’s rally included East Falkirk MP Michael Connarty, Unite vice chairman Mark Lyon, STUC general secretary Graham Smith and Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty.

Mr Rafferty said: “Livelihoods are being thrown into turmoil because of Ineos’ irresponsibility which risks the future of the site. Anger is growing among workers and the company now risks destroying good Scottish jobs and a powerhouse of the Scottish economy.

“Our message is clear. We will not give in to the threats and menaces of Ineos.”

Ineos stated the plant would remain shutdown until it can safely be re-started and that means getting a guarantee from Unite there would be no further strikes in the coming weeks.

Calum MacLean, Ineos Grangemouth chairman, said: “The initial response to the Survival Plan has been pleasing. We weren’t expecting many returns before Monday so we are taking this is a positive development.

“It is very gratifying that so many workers have been willing to show their support this early on.”