Thirteen trade unions from across the world representing 15,000 Ineos workers are standing side by side to demand that Ineos CEO Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos management end the attacks on its Scottish workforce.
Unions from the United States, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany to name a few have written to Ineos management to express their serious concern about the recent events at Grangemouth, which has seen the company launch an unprecedented attack against the Ineos workforce and threats of dismissal against the Unite convenor Stephen Deans.
Stephen Deans, a Unite convenor with 24 years of loyal service at Ineos is under investigation by the company over the selection of a Labour party candidate in Falkirk Scotland. Stephen Deans has already been cleared of all wrongdoing by the police, by the Labour party and the company has previously said there is no case to answer.
Unite has also accused Ineos of ‘cynical blackmail’, as it shutdown the Grangemouth site last week and told workers that they could lose their jobs and be re-employed on poorer terms unless they agreed to give up their final salary pension, and accept pay freezes and pay cuts by 18:00 today (Monday 21 October).
Ineos has justified the attacks, claiming the company faces financial difficulties, but accounting experts blew a hole in Ineos’ claims over its finances. An independent analysis released by Unite shows that Ineos ‘Chemicals’ expects to make profits of half a billion pounds in the coming years and that labour costs including pensions account for just under 17 per cent of total turnover.
In the letter the leaders of the 13 trade unions write: "We want the senior management of Ineos to know that we stand side by side in solidarity with our colleagues. We ask that Ineos immediately stops the intrusive and intimidatory investigations and threats of dismissal against Stephen Deans and agrees a sensible timetable for talks with Unite on the future of Grangemouth."
Last week Unite wrote to the anti-avoidance arm of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to investigate the tax affairs of the Ineos Group amid concerns that the company's arrangements ‘obfuscate the true position of Ineos' UK activities’.
The formal request follows questions about apparent accounting contradictions in Ineos’ ‘Chemical’ accounts which simultaneously paint both a gloomy and upbeat assessment of the company's finances and future profitability.
The statement has been signed by the leaders of ABVV - FGTB, Belguim; ACV - CSC, Belgium; CFE - CGT, France; FNIC - CGT, France; FNV Bondgennoten, Holland; IGBCE, Germany; IF Metall, Sweden, Industi Energi, Norway; Syna, Switzerland; Uiltec, Italy; UFCW, USA; USW, USA and Canada.
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 or Alex Flynn on 07976 665 869
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland's largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.