News digest 16 October 2013

News digest 16 October 2013

16 October 2013

The top story in today’s digest is Ineos. After 16 hours of negotiation and on the cusp of an agreement a spanner was effectively thrown in the works. In a toys out of pram moment Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe demanded an apology before any deal could be concluded. Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: "Unite offered Ineos every proposal we could practically make, specifically an offer to enter into negotiations under the auspices of Acas to secure the future of Grangemouth with the immediate call-off of all industrial action and a guarantee of no strikes during these negotiations. However at 05:00 this morning Acas representatives informed us that we could not conclude an agreement to take to our members because a list of fresh demands were placed upon us and because 'Jim wants an apology' and that this was 'a deal-breaker'. I have never came across anything like this in over 30 years of employment relations and it is utterly reprehensible.” Highlighting concerns over the real reasons for Ineos provoking the dispute, Pat continued: “It's clear to us that Jim Ratcliffe is not prepared to accept any proposals or negotiate on any principle. He is now systematically running the Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical sites into a damaging cold shutdown … this has serious ramifications for the safety of the site and for the surrounding area. The safety and integrity of the site and the local population are now paramount and we have an obligation to ensure that Ineos does not permanently decimate the plant's assets and the workforce with this cold shutdown. As a result, Unite will now call off all industrial action with immediate effect in order to protect this national asset from the scandalous behaviour of its owner.” Despite the provocation from Jim Ratcliffe, and in order to secure the future of a plant that Ratcliffe seemingly believes is worthless, the strike action has been called off for now, with Unite holding further meetings with members later on today to consider the next course of action...

And from power to fuel and the reality of life in Con-Dem Britain. While Real Britain Ros in the Mirror highlights how the Tory cuts could force a Down's syndrome sufferer out of his home – this one in Cameron's constituency, the Mail and Times report a GP saying that patients will soon have to pay for ‘extras’, at the moment he means food, but could that be services, even more challenging the Sun reports that people are having to hand back items to food banks because they cannot afford to pay for the fuel to cook them - some 350,000 people visited a food bank in the past six months - is this really the best that Britain can do? Why not close the tax avoidance gap, the missing £35 billion could cut a lot of fuel bills and end the heat or eat choice that’s becoming increasingly common in modern day Britain…

  Morning Star

  • How much worse can it get? (p1) [more cuts and cost of living]
  • Passengers oppose mayor’s Tube ticket office staff purge (p2)
  • Ineos ‘determined’ to spark a strike (p4) – Unite/Pat Rafferty cited
  • Welfare attacks push 350,000 to food banks (p5)
  • Stansted ground handlers vote for walkout (p5)
  • Defeating the payday loan sharks (p9)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • 76 per cent fear press laws (p2)
  • May hits out over Mitchell (p2)
  • Fuel crisis forces people to hand back food bank donations as can’t afford to cook (p6)
  • Airfares dive 19 per cent in jet war (p40)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Police risk losing all public trust (p1)
  • Patients must pay extra for NHS, leading doctor says (p1)
  • White collar workers forced to use food banks (p4)
  • ‘Plebgate’ furore caused a breakdown in trust, says May (p5)
  • Is Cameron insane? Leave foxhunting alone – Alice Thomson (p33)
  • Inflation robs elderly of bigger pensions rise (p46)
  • Royal Mail investors take money and run (p49)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Dublin to shut door on Apple tax loophole (p1)
  • Lazard faces grilling over Royal mail sale (p3)
  • Food bank demand triples (p5)
  • Carmaker boost Sunderland (p23)

  Edited by Mik Sabiers

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