Grangemouth Bargaining Rights Restored
In a call to action last from Oct.1-21, members of the British trade union Unite voted overwhelmingly to restore the union’s right to conduct collective bargaining at the Ineos Grangemouth site. With a turnout of 78%, the ”yes” vote was 83%.
The acceptance means that the union can now represent the Scottish site’s workforce in future negotiations with the company’s management on wages and working conditions.
Ineos had suspended Unite’d bargaining rights in the course of the heated 2013 labor dispute in which the company threatened to close the plant, with the loss of about 800 jobs. The decision was later reversed after workers agreed to a survival plan that included a three-year pay freeze.
Howard Beckett, Unite assistant general secretary, commented: “I am delighted that after a long process Unite has emphatically won the trade union recognition ballots at Ineos. The margin of the result and the confidence shown in Unite will now enable us to collectively bargain on behalf of the entire workforce.”
Calling representation “an internal matter for our employees,” Ineos said it respects their choice to have a union represent them. This marks an about-face from last year, when the chemical producer said it would end collective bargaining at the site.
The Grangemouth complex, which includes a refinery, along with petrochemicals and plastics production facilities, contributes 4% of Scottish GDP and around 8% of the country’s manufacturing base.