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Cutbacks planned

Union urges Petroineos to use furlough to save jobs

Grangemouth

Grangemouth facing job cuts

Nearly 190 jobs are under threat at Grangemouth oil refinery after its owners announced plans to scale back operations at the site.

Petroineos is to launch a consultation period with the 637 staff at the facility which it wants to “reconfigure” in response to a global decline in demand for fuels.

The company said that that downsizing the operation would allow it to retain 450 highly-skilled roles.

Under the plans, a crude distillation unit and fluidised catalytic cracker unit, which have been mothballed since the start of the Covid pandemic, will remain closed.

Trade union Unite Scotland has asked the company to use the five-month extension of the UK Government’s furlough scheme to provide more time to explore alternative options to save jobs at the plant.

Sandy Smart, Unite industrial officer, said: “We are acutely aware of the very challenging market conditions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic that has resulted in a lower demand of fuels but there is now a vaccine within grasp which could significantly effect demand in the coming months.

“We firmly believe the proposal is premature and that Petroineos should instead be discussing with us how to effectively use the extension in the UK Government’s furlough scheme to give us more time to explore every option.

“The workforce also needs assurances from the company over the medium and long-term security of the plant.

“Unite will be entering a formal consultation process with the company but we will be insisting that any job losses, if they are to occur, then this should be on a voluntary basis.

“However, let me repeat, it’s our belief that these job losses can be averted and we call on Petroineos to work with us to deliver this objective.”  



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