Lyon retains seat ahead of tribunal date with Grangemouth’s Ineos

Mark Lyon
Mark Lyon

A sacked union official was given a vote of confidence ahead of his employment tribunal against petrochemical giant Ineos.

After 25 years service, Mark Lyon was dismissed as an employee at the Grangemouth plant in February for supposedly failing to stop union colleagues making derogatory comments about the company in the national press and an alleged lack of support for the firm’s survival plan.

Now he has been returned unopposed to Unite’s executive council as one of two national chemicals, pharmaceuticals, process and textiles representatives.

The election follows an interim employment tribunal in March when Judge Stewart Watt ruled it “likely” Mr Lyon would win his case for unfair dismissal when it goes to a full tribunal and ordered Ineos to pay the Unite vice-chairman his wages until the hearing.

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “I don’t think this election was a case of the union backing Mark as such. He was re-elected unopposed to a post he held previously, so it clearly shows he was doing a good job in that role.”

The tribunal is just one hangover from last year’s bitter conflict between Unite and Ineos.

Another could come from the possible inclusion of a motion in the agenda for Unite’s UK policy conference in July calling for Ineos to be nationalised and a proposition to withhold union support from any political candidates who do not back this stance. Two Scottish branches back the proposal

The deadline for changes to the agenda is May 23.

Mr Rafferty said: “The motion is in the preliminary agenda. It will have to go through due process before being debated and could well change.”

Ineos made no comment on the nationalisation issue as The Falkirk Herald went to press.