Unite the union has expressed serious concerns over the possible sale of the Forties Pipeline System from BP to Ineos.
Unite was involved in two major disputes with Ineos over the treatment of workers at the Grangemouth refinery in 2008 and 2013. During the second dispute, the company – owned by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe – threatened to close the facility forever.
The union is now to seek an urgent meeting with Ineos to discuss the possible sale.
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Our members at BP will have major concerns about the possibility of becoming employees of Ineos, a company with a clear history of attacking our members’ pensions, as well as their terms and conditions, in order to maximise profit. If a sale does go ahead, we will fight to protect our members in every way we can, and Ineos should work with us to allay their fears.
“There is also a wider issue of economic power. The Forties Pipeline System carries a massive amount of the UK’s oil. Grangemouth is the one of the country’s major refineries. Both of these pieces of vital national infrastructure could soon be effectively in the hands of one man. That is an incredible amount of power.
“It’s not so long ago that both Grangemouth and the Forties pipeline were owned by all of us, and operated by a nationalised British Petroleum with a responsibility to look at what was good for the country as a whole, not just what was good for a small group of wealthy individuals.
“We need a national debate now. Do our politicians believe in an economy where power is widely held and used for the benefit of us all, or are they happy with power in the hands of a tiny minority whose biggest concern is their own personal benefit?
“Is it right, or sensible, to give the power to turn off the taps - and bring the entire country to a standstill - to one private company, without any democratic involvement or oversight?
“Unite doesn’t believe that is good for workers or good for the country. Our members will be listening closely to the views of our governments both at Westminster and Holyrood.”
Notes to editors
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / firstname.lastname@example.org