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RHA: a "universal sigh of relief" over Grangemouth U-turn

  • 29 October 2013
  • By Hayley Pink

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has said there will be a “universal sigh of relief” following the decision to reopen Grangemouth petrochemicals business and oil refinery last Friday (25 October).

Hauliers in Scotland faced more than a week of uncertainty over fuel supply to the region following a high-profile clash between Grangemouth operator Ineos and union Unite, which culminated in a temporary closure of the oil refinery and an announcement to close the petrochemicals division.

However, an eleventh-hour agreement between the parties saw Ineos reverse its decision to close the troubled site – which had been losing more than £10m per month – and invest a further £300m of shareholder funds into the business in return for staff accepting new terms and conditions.

The new terms included: no strikes for three years, a move to a modern pension scheme, a pay freeze for three years, and changes to union agreements on site including no full time union convenors.

Phil Flanders, RHA director for Scotland, said: “There will be a universal sigh of relief from all businesses that normality is on the way and all the uncertainty over the supply of fuel and jobs has been settled.”

Unite said the Grangemouth refinery now has a “fighting chance” and that the union will sit down with Ineos to consult on the company’s proposals.

Ineos added that the union’s “u-turn” and acceptance of the new terms and conditions for workers at Grangemouth was a “victory for common sense”.

It added that the Scottish government has indicated it will support the company’s application for a £9m grant to help finance the terminal and the UK government has given its prequalification approval for a £125m loan guarantee facility.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/rha-a-universal-sigh-of-relief-over-grangemouth-u-turn