News digest 22 October 2013

News digest 22 October 2013

22 October 2013

Ineos dominates the headlines once again after two out of three of the workers yesterday rejected the company’s cynical blackmail to intimidate the workforce into accepting reduced pay, pensions and terms. Over 65 per cent (and 80 per cent of the workers Unite bargains for) have so far rejected the company’s cynical attempt to intimidate the workforce, a figure the union believes will grow despite Ineos’ arbitrary deadline. Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish secretary, said: “This resounding rejection of the company’s cynical blackmail sends a clear message to the company. The 663 people who have so far rejected Ineos’ ultimatum are the backbone of the plant, the people who keep the site running and the oil flowing. The people of Grangemouth and Scotland will be expecting Jim Ratcliffe and the Ineos shareholders to now take heed. Do the right thing tomorrow, drop the threats to the workforce, fire up the plant and get around the table at Acas.” As ever, the dispute lies clearly at the feet of one man, billionaire Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe who has made his money and can luxuriate on his £140 million yacht while trying to squeeze every penny out of his workforce, casino capitalism at its most malicious, perhaps it is time to bring the plant back into public ownership?

Elsewhere the new Hinkley Point nuclear plant remains in the headlines with concerns over the cost of the subsidy and foreign control, and while unions have welcomed the proposals the Times says there is a question over how many of the jobs will go to British workers.

And the cost of energy also continues to exercise many of the papers, the Mail probably sums up the anger most markedly after reporting that the Npower boss Paul Massara – whose firm raised prices by over 10 per cent yesterday – decided to offer some energy saving advice on YouTube, his line: “Try using less.” One wag responded on Twitter: “We used to hang highwaymen, now we let them run energy companies.”

And finally it is the end of an era for the Co-op bank after American hedge funds yesterday forced the mutual to give up majority control in a stock market float. Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "[This] is a tragic day for the UK as the Co-operative group is no longer in a position to maintain its majority ownership of the Co-operative bank. This is dreadful for the staff, customers and the wider banking industry. The Co-operative Bank with its long and proud history is now at risk of losing all it ever stood for. The ethos of this important organisation must be protected.” Beware letting casino capitalists take control…

  Morning Star

  • Hinkley: Worst deal of the century (p1/3)
  • Npower price rise (p1)
  • New blacklist of workers found (p2)
  • Grangemouth workers face deadline (p2)
  • North cries out over publicly owned rail (p4)
  • TUC: Put workers on firms’ boards (p5)
  • Grangemouth: Why should the country be held to ransom – Pat Rafferty (p8)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Giant’s [energy] bill hike tops lot (p1)
  • £2 billion foreign health bill (p3)
  • Nuclear fallout (p8-9)
  • Co-ops bond age backlash U-turn (p38)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Energy bills top £1,500 after new price hikes (p1)
  • Treasury too soft on public wage bill, says mandarin (p3)
  • No guarantee of nuclear jobs for British workers (p8)
  • Migrant NHS treatment ‘costs millions’ (p16)
  • Stricken Co-op bank falls into hands of American investors (p37)
  • Angry airlines pour scorn on soaring profits at Heathrow (p42)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Bank blow to Co-op’s mutual structure (p1)
  • Hinkley pivotal for industry’s future (p3)
  • Treasury to unveil fresh list of big projects (p3)
  • Co-op hands the reins to bondholders (p20)
  • Heathrow anger over landing fees (p21) (p)

  Edited by Mik Sabiers

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