Thursday 24 October 2013

Ineos go all in, Unite fold

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

The best analogy of the deal that was reached over the Grangemouth plants future this morning comes from the world of poker.

Ineos possibly sick of the infighting and continuous threat of strikes from the Unite Union yesterday announced they were shutting down the petrochemical part of the plant and considering the future of refinery. It was the equivalent of putting all your chips unto the table and being prepared to lose everything.

Unite had rejected the 'last chance survival' plan offered by Ineos, but this morning with 800 jobs apparently already gone and 570 others threatened they capitulated. Accepted all the conditions laid down by that plan as they say "warts and all". Equivalent to throwing all your cards away in poker.

This afternoon we also saw the new Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael and Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney together in Grangemouth to talk with Ineos this afternoon.

Addressing the press after that meeting Mr Carmichael said:

"We are in a much better place today in relation to the future of the plant than we were yesterday.

"There remains, of course, a great deal to be done."

Mr Swinney added:

"This plant has got a great future, everybody accepts that Grangemouth has got a great future.

"What we need to do is resolve these outstanding issues, get the investment plan implemented and take forward and improve the prospects for the people that that work in this plant."

The past 24 hours has certainly proved to be a long time in the  life of 1,370 highly skilled jobs in Grangemouth and I hope that in the future both sides will sit down and discuss differences in a constructive and respectful manner long, coming to a conclusion long before it escalates to such potentially damaging circumstances.

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