In July this year Unite was de-recognised at the infrastructure and chemicals plant within the Grangemouth petrochemicals complex – which is owned by Ineos. The chemicals plant employs more than 400 workers. Unite now has the signed up support of a considerable majority of the workers there who want the re-instatement of the union. They have a legal right for that to take place.
Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “We now have a considerable majority of the workers who have signed up to say they want the union recognised at the site as is their legal right. The company must now negotiate a new deal.”
What happens if the company refuses to negotiate?
The major government body which rules on such disputes is the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). Given that Unite now has statements from a considerable majority at the plant it now has the legal right to make an application to the CAC for recognition of the union at the plant. Accordingly preparations are now being made to make a formal legal application.
Howard Beckett said: " We hope the company will depart from its current strategies and enter negotiations about re-instating Unite at the chemicals complex.That would be the sensible option. But in any case we are applying to the Central Arbitration Committee and we are confident that they will re-instate the union. Even if the company decides not to negotiate."
In the recent past industrial relations at Ineos have been in limbo due to the company's decision to de-recognise the union. Unite says it's time for a new start.
Howard Beckett said "The workforce have spoken. They say they want Unite to represent them. They say that they want the union re-instated. The company has to listen to their own workforce. That would be a reasonable course to take for positive industrial relations. The workers want the union back. That is their legal right."
Contact Bob Wylie Media Unite Scotland 07711 751570.