THE FUTURE of the Grangemouth oil refinery was hanging in the balance last night after half of the workforce rejected pay changes that have been painted as make-or-break by the site’s owner.
Ineos, which claims the plant is losing millions of pounds a day, said at the weekend that it would only reopen the refinery if staff accept new terms and conditions.
But Unite the union said last night that 665 of Grangemouth’s 1,350 workers had rejected the proposals once a 6pm deadline had passed, leaving talks with Ineos at a standstill.
Grangemouth, which was closed last week in advance of an expected strike by Unite members, will remain shut while the company considers its options. Management are expected to meet today.
The union has slammed Ineos as “holding Scotland to ransom” by keeping Grangemouth out of action, while politicians in Westminster and Holyrood have urged the firm to come to a compromise.
The refinery near Falkirk processes 210,000 barrels a day and supplies petrol to Scotland and northern England, as well as powering BP’s Kinneil oil terminal in the North Sea.