The announcement by Ineos this morning that Grangemouth’s petrochemical plant is to close is terrible news. Hundreds of jobs lost directly, many more indirectly. The loss of a significant element of Scotland’s industrial capacity. Why has this happened?
As I’ve blogged below, Ineos has been flagging likely cuts for months but instead of engaging with the situation and organising a coherent plan to save jobs, Unite called a strike over a pathetic and petty issue related to Labour Party internal politics. By the time the union woke up to the reality workers faced, it was too late.
Of course the threat to the refinery itself is palpable, and of course local MPs, MSPs and ministers will do everything we can to try to find another buyer for the closed plant. But what’s the proposition as it stands? Come and enjoy a non-relationship with a militant union acting with its workers’ interests at the bottom of its priorities?
Ineos is a very tough, world-scale company and exists to make as much money as it can – what did people think was going to happen once the company’s offer was rejected following the stupidest of strikes for the most idiotic of reasons?
Workers at Ineos need proper union representation – right now, they’re getting the fumbling, dumbed-down, politicised opposite.
For now, the sad night scene at Grangemouth’s huge industrial assets is pictured below.