Scotland’s only crude oil refinery is to shut down for two days as 1200 workers strike
24 April 2008

Workers at the Grangemouth refinery will embark on a 48-hour strike starting this Sunday that will shut the plant and disrupt fuel supplies to Scotland and northern England.Representatives from the Unite union and the plant’s operator, Ineos, failed to reach an agreement over the company’s plan to close the final salary pension scheme to new entrants and reduce provisions for existing scheme members.Unite’s national officer Phil McNulty said, “The changes to the scheme Ineos are proposing are unreasonable, unnecessary and have forced our members at Grangemouth to take industrial action for the first time."On Monday the 200,000 barrel-a-day refinery started closing one of its crude distillation units in anticipation of the two-day strike. Its owners expect that it will take at least a month for Grangemouth to resume full production.Ineos CEO Tom Crotty said, "The union rejection means we have no option but to completely shut down the Grangemouth site to be sure it is safe during the 48-hour strike."There are fears that the shutdown of the plant could cause panic buying but a spokesperson for the Scottish government has warned drivers not to stockpile fuel. It stated that there are sufficient emergency supplies available to last “well into May”.

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