News digest 17 October 2013

News digest 17 October 2013

17 October 2013

The ongoing dispute at Ineos remains in the headlines with coverage across many papers. After yesterday’s tantrum over an apology it seems that the company is determined to undermine both the plant and Scotland as a whole, Unite yesterday accused the company of economic vandalism as the company stated that it was continuing the Grangemouth shutdown even after Unite said it had called off strike action. Unite Scotland secretary Pat Rafferty said: "Ineos' decision is an act of economic vandalism. There is absolutely no reason for the site to remain shut - the company is holding Scotland to ransom. … Unite acted in the national interest by calling off the strike because Ineos had no right to initiate a cold shutdown; a shutdown against the wishes of the Health and Safety Executive, and against the economic interests of the country.” As well as requesting an urgent visit to the site by the HSE, Pat Rafferty also called for government action: “The Scottish and Westminster governments must now act without further delay. It is time for Alex Salmond to pick up the phone and demand that Jim Ratcliffe gets the site back up and running.” And in a new twist this morning Unite questioned Ineos’ claims of financial concerns, Pat Rafferty continued: “The company gives the impression it is broke and it may need to close the Grangemouth site but we believe this is just a ploy to justify attacking its workforce and to demand government hand outs. We are baffled by the company's claims of financial hardship. This leads us to believe that the company only wants to break the union and is using the innocent Stephen Deans and claims of financial hardship to do so. Our message to Jim Ratcliffe is that you have been found out. Your scheming will not work and you can be sure that Unite will not stand by and allow you to try to crush the union.” Looks like Jim Ratcliffe is prepared to hold the whole country to ransom with no concern for the consequences of his actions. We all know where the buck stops in the Ineos case…

In other news Royal Mail workers yesterday voted to go on national 24-hour strike on 4 November, the CWU announced. The vote - over terms and conditions at the now privatised Royal Mail - was four-to-one in favour and will be the first national strike at Royal Mail in almost four years. It was run in the midst not only of the privatisation of the company, but also with a large ‘bribe’ on offer as last Tuesday Royal Mail confirmed that full-time staff would receive 725 shares, worth £3,545 at Tuesday's close, in addition anyone who crosses a picket line would receive an extra £300. CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: "Postal workers have spoken very clearly that they care about their jobs, terms and conditions far more than they care about shares.” In this case the cheque is definitely not in the post…

  Morning Star

  • Defiant post workers back mass strike (p1)
  • Ministers pledge to end blacklisting shame (p2)
  • Thousands of teachers out for pensions (p2)
  • Grangemouth shutdown goes ahead (p3) – Unite/Pat Rafferty cited
  • Watchdog rejects water bill rise (p3)
  • Staff to target universities in parallel strike (p4)
  • Teachers: We strike because we have no choice – Christine Blower (p8)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • More jobs, but less pay (p2) [employment stats]
  • PM blasted over Atos (p2)
  • Posties to strike (p6)
  • Boeing panel drops off (p12)
  • Water watchdog slams proposed rise (p42)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Royal Mail shares fall (p2)
  • Public sector pay tumbles as record numbers find work (p4)
  • Coalition crams 30 more into the Lords (p11)
  • MP calls in Met on Guardian secrets (p23)
  • Miliband can still win the welfare debate – Jenni Russell (p32)
  • Lib Dem mud is sticking to Tories – Tim Montgomerie (p33)
  • Treasury seeks to fast track RBS share sale (p51)
  • Refinery shutdown an act of vandalism (p53) – Unite/Pat Rafferty cited
  • Osborne finds funds for Hinckley Point (p53)




  • Reforms leave army in chaos (p1)
  • Schools closed in teacher strike (p4)
  • Royal Mail walkout (p4)
  • Give Mitchell his job back, says minister (p14)
  • Jobless fall boosts recovery hopes (b1)
  • Royal Mail workers vote to strike (b3)
  • Ineos ultimatum (b5) – Unite/Pat Rafferty cited
  • IMI nets $1.1 billion by selling no core units (b5)

  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • US senate in debt deal (p1)
  • Postal staff back walkout (p2)
  • Outsourcing arms buying at risk of collapse (p2)
  • PM ‘confused’ over real wage data (p2)
  • Hinckley Point launch pad to global push (p3)
  • Cable signals intervention on zero hours contracts (p4)
  • Ofwat reins in Thames Water (p19)
  • Peugeot deal talk meets resistance (p21)
  • The UK’s regional recovery (p24)

  Edited by Mik Sabiers

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