Ineos say Grangemouth job losses will be “minimal”

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Petrochemical giant Ineos stated today the survival plan for its Grangemouth site would lead to a “minimal reduction in roles”.

After weeks of drama and uncertainty, which included a strike and the closure of the site, union Unite said it feared up to 200 workers would lose their jobs and the workers that remained would have their pay and conditions significantly downgraded.

Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Ineos needs to come clean over job losses and the timescales involved and the must provide assurances to the workforce this Christmas.”

Ineos today stood by its survival plan and said it was the only way to insure the future of the site.

An Ineos spokesman said: “Since the announcement of the Survival Plan on September 29 we have been very clear with our employees and the media about the need for change at the site and our plan for the future.

“As part of this plan we have said that three old plants have reached the end of their useful life and will be closed. Benzene at some point next year with the G4 naphtha cracker and Butadiene plant later in 2015.

“As these old, end of life plants close, it is expected the expansion of modern efficient plant at the site, made possible by new investment, will generate new long term opportunities.

“As a consequence of this we expect any net reduction in roles to be minimal. The new £300 million investment into the Grangemouth petrochemicals site secures over 1400 skilled, well paid roles for many years to come.

“There is no reduction in salaries proposed and operators continue to earn twice the national average in Scotland and have a first class defined contribution pension scheme.

“We are also currently recruiting employees and expanding our apprenticeship scheme at the Grangemouth site.”

Ineos launched its survival plan because of the decline in North Sea feed stocks and the rise of the site’s operating costs. The company claims the site is now longer competitive and has been losing £150 million annually over the last three years.

To reduce fixed costs further Ineos set up a consultation with staff, which runs until the end of the year, and applied to the government for loans and loan guarantees.