October 23, 2013
The blighted petrochemical plant at the giant Grangemouth, Scotland, complex is to close following a meeting by Ineos Group shareholders in London yesterday.
The company's shareholders met on Tuesday to discuss the response of staff to proposed changes to pay and conditions. The facility has been shut for a week due to an ongoing dispute between Ineos and the Unite union.
Ineos made the announcement following a meeting with its workforce at the plant and its associated oil refinery.
Ineos Chairman Jim Ratcliffe said liquidators would be appointed within a week. In a statement to workers he said: "This is a very sad day for everyone at Grangemouth. Management spoke to all 1,370 employees and asked them to support the changes required to save the business. Sadly half of them voted against the plan on the advice of the Unite trade union."
Workers at the site had been given until 6 p.m. on Monday to agree to the changes, which included a pay freeze and downgrading of pensions.
Unite said half of the 1,350-strong workforce had rejected the proposed changes to contracts.
The company has said the plant, which has been shut down for a week because of the dispute, is losing 10 million pounds ($16 million) a month.
Ratcliffe said at the weekend if the petrochemical plant closed it was likely the refinery would go too.
Ineos has said it is ready to invest 300 million pounds ($483 million) in Grangemouth, but only if workers agree to the new terms and conditions.