INEOS has permanently shut the petrochemical plant at Grangemouth and threatened to keep the loss-making oil refinery closed, putting at least 1,400 jobs and a key source of fuel in jeopardy.
Politicians in Scotland and Westminster hit out at the decision, which follows a week of negotiations with Unite the union that failed to persuade workers to accept pay and pension cuts.
However, late last night the union appeared to be looking for a potential deal, with reports that Unite might back the plan laid out by Ineos. Pat Rafferty, Unite’s Scottish secretary said that the union would make “further proposals in a last-ditch effort” to save the refinery.
“If the owner is not going to be Ineos, then it must be someone else. This is too essential a site for our economy and capability here in Scotland to let it slip away without exhausting every avenue we can in order to keep it open,” the secretary of state for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, told parliament. Michael Moore, who was Scottish secretary until this month’s reshuffle, said the closure was “an act of economic vandalism the likes of which we have not seen in decades”.