6 Days Remaining

Wednesday 6th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

THE owners of a Scottish petrochemical plant will face a formal challenge over their refusal to recognise Unite, the union announced yesterday.

Bosses at Grangemouth, beside the Firth of Forth, withdrew recognition of union Unite and ended collective bargaining in July.

The plant, run by Ineos, is Scotland’s main source of petrol and can process 210,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

Unite announced yesterday that it had signed up a “considerable majority” of the 425 workers to its campaign for recognition to be reinstated.

Assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “The workforce have spoken. They say they want Unite to represent them. They say that they want the union reinstated.

“The company has to listen to their own workforce. That would be a reasonable course to take for positive industrial relations. The workers want the union back. That is their legal right.”

Unite is to apply for a ruling to the Central Arbitration Committee, an independent tribunal which can issue a declaration making union recognition compulsory.

Ineos has attacked workers’ rights before. A long-running dispute over pay and conditions in October 2013 led to owners threatening to shut the plant, which would have destroyed about 800 jobs.

The decision was reversed, but Unite members had to accept a survival plan which included a three-year pay freeze, the end of the workers’ final-salary pension scheme and others measures worsening their terms and conditions.