MP condemns Grangemouth’s Ineos

Michael Connarty is calling for Ineos to move forward
Michael Connarty is calling for Ineos to move forward

A week after sacking a union official Ineos has courted controversy once more by posting its version of last year’s Grangemouth crisis online.

Union Unite launched legal action after the petrochemical giant dismissed site convener Mark Lyon last Tuesday for supposedly failing to stop his union colleagues from commenting in the press over fears of job losses at the plant on December 2 last year.

Now the firm’s public relations team at Media Zoo has uploaded a 27-minute video on You Tube entitled ‘The Battle for Grangemouth’, which aims to give the company’s side of last year’s plant closure.

East Falkirk MP Michael Connarty believes this latest move and the sacking of Mr Lyon are not the best way forward for the firm, accusing Ineos bosses of being “bully boys” when he addressed Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable in the UK parliament last week.

He said: “Every source is saying a company does not have the right to sack a convener for telling management the workforce has a different view. A company has no right to sack a convener because it does not like the fact his union wrote something about it in a newspaper.

“The Secretary of State has underwritten £150 million in loan guarantees for the company to fund its expansion into using ethane from America and it has received £9 million from the Scottish Government in regional selective assistance.

“I call on the Secretary of state to make these people come to the table and realise they cannot breach the laws of this land by sacking people summarily. I demand they reinstate the convener forthwith. There should be no recriminations and no victimisation.

“Let us negotiate the way forward. This is an important issue for my constituents and the economy of both Scotland and the UK and we cannot have bully boys.”

Ineos insiders said the sacking of Mr Lyon, who worked at the site for 25 years, had the potential to send the Grangemouth plant into another crisis and the public release of the ‘Battle for Grangemouth’ video was harmful “propaganda” which ignored the plight of the workers during the last few months of 2013.

Mr Lyon’s dismissal follows the resignation of Stevie Deans, Unite’s other Grangemouth convenor, last year and came days after Ineos dropped a defamation claim over Unite’s accusations the company victimised Mr Deans.