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Strike action for INEOS

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

On the afternoon of Friday 11th  October, Unite served notice of strike action to Ineos. This was issued due to the company apparently refusing further efforts to resolve a dispute over the treatment of a trade union representative and the use of agency workers. Unite has apparently fulfilled statutory obligations and provided Ineos with a seven day notice of the 48 hour strike which is scheduled to start on Sunday 20th October at 7am and finish at 7am on Tuesday 22nd October.

81.4% of Unite workers voted for strike action on a 86% turnout. Over 90% of workers also voted for action short of strikes, with a continuous work to rule and overtime ban in place since Monday 30th September.

Comments on the action

‘Unite has made every effort to pull Ineos back from the brink but at every opportunity this company has kicked our proposals for peace into touch,’ said Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty.

‘We have pleaded with Government Ministers in Westminster and Holyrood and the joint owners of the Grangemouth refinery Petrochina to help reign in this reckless company before it’s too late,’ Rafferty continued. ‘A damaging strike may shutdown the Grangemouth site, with series ramifications for fuel production and supply throughout Scotland and the North of England, and the public should know the blame lies with Ineos Chairman Jim Ratcliffe.

‘The company can level whatever accusations it wants to at Unite and our members but the fact of the matter is we can only interpret their actions as a sign that they are determined to see strike action in an attempt to break the bank of our union and run Grangemouth into the ground.

Rafferty concluded, ‘However, Unite will fight back against attacks on our union and any attempt to impose devastating cuts on our members’ jobs and hard fought terms and conditions because that’s what strong trade unions do. We will not negotiate with a gun to our head but Ineos can end this dispute tomorrow if they step back from the brink and begin to work with their employees again instead of against them. The ball is in their court.’

 Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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