Unite vows to defend Grangemouth workers and their future
24 September 2013
Unite, the biggest union in Scotland, vowed today (24 September) that it will do its utmost to defend the Ineos site and the workers there from all threats to their future.
The move comes as the company threatens the union with legal action over its claims that a `culture of fear' was settling at the Grangemouth site following moves by the employer to remove a trade union official, a loyal and long-serving member of the workforce.
The union has been forced to defend Stephen Deans, who despite 24 years of committed service at the site, faces losing his job as a result of management's actions. Having failed to convince the company that matters could be resolved through negotiation, Unite was forced to ballot members for industrial action to defend their colleague. That ballot closes on Friday, 27 September.
Speaking today (Tuesday), Unite's Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty, said:
"It is ridiculous to suggest that Unite has libelled Ineos. We have issued an honest statement of opinion.
"It is a matter of fact that a man who has been found innocent of any offence, exonerated by Police Scotland and an internal Labour Party enquiry, yet is still subject to an investigation by his employer. It is a matter of fact that Unite's solicitors have written to Ineos outlining the unfair treatment of Stevie Deans.
"But as Ineos's management continue to show no sign of resolving this dispute through negotiation, Unite has been left with no option but to ballot members for industrial action. We have no doubt we will be mandated by our members to take such action if that is what it takes to save this man's job and to arrest the culture of fear at the plant.
"It is deeply regrettable that Ineos has chosen to ignore the police findings and the findings of the Labour party and rather than drawing this matter to a dignified conclusion they have now threatened Unite with legal action.
"Unite will defend its position vigorously but would again call upon Ineos to do the right thing; no more gunboat diplomacy, sit down with us and resolve this matter peacefully. Agree with the findings of the police and the Labour party and stop this pursuit of an innocent man."
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
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.