Grangemouth unions’ strike threatens fuel supplies to Scotland and North of England for a month

Workers at Scotland’s biggest oil refinery are planning to strike in a row over pensions, leading to the plant being closed for safety reasons.

INEOS, the company that owns the Grangemouth oil refinery, said the strike would lead to a closure of the refinery for safety reasons, causing disruption to fuel supplies to Scotland and the north of England

Tom Crotty, INEOS CEO, said: ‘The union’s planned strike could have significant consequences for Scotland and the north of England and we would urge them to work with us to find a way of resolving this issue’.

UNITE Trade Union was said to have turned down an invitation by ACAS to attend talks to resolve the dispute.

Tom Crotty added: ‘Unite’s decision to strike threatens a £750m investment package, hundreds of jobs and will damage the economy of both Scotland and the UK .

Union officials said the first strike at an oil refinery for 73 years would go ahead between 27th and 29th April.

Grangemouth bosses said over a quarter of the money the company spends on employees goes into the pension scheme. ‘This figure is excessive and unsustainable in the longer term,’ said Ineos.

Unite national secretary, Phil McNulty, said: ‘The company is profitable, and the pension scheme in its present form is well funded and affordable. The changes to the scheme Ineos are proposing are unreasonable, unnecessary and have forced our members at Grangemouth to take industrial action for the first time.’