Grangemouth workers betrayed over Just Transition by fossil fuel fat cats
Scottish Greens MSP Gillian Mackay is accusing operators of the Grangemouth oil refinery of abandoning hundreds of loyal workers after they announced plans to axe the plant by 2025.
The Petroineos site, part owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group and PetroChina, is to flip operations towards becoming a fuel and import distribution hub - raising serious questions over how it can contribute towards Scotland moving towards a net zero future.
It employs around 2000 people across the site, and 7000 contractors. Hundreds of them are now facing an uncertain future.
Ms Mackay said: “This is an appalling way to treat workers who only months ago were being promised that they would be part of a Just Transition for the site. Instead they are being told their jobs are at risk just weeks before Christmas.
“Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his executives must explain themselves to the community that has for 100 years worked and loyally supported this site, and fully expected a better and more sustainable future that would support generations more.
“I grew up less than 200 yards from the plant and I can tell you right now that workers at the plant are bewildered, betrayed and furious at finding out about this from a story on the internet long after shareholders were made aware.
“They have been given next to no information. In fact, I broke the news to one senior union official. I am now calling for an urgent summit to be held, including the Grangemouth Just Transition Board who must share what they knew and when.
“Make no mistake, we must move away from fossil fuels. But this is the exact opposite of a Just Transition. This is not a staged change towards a more sustainable way of working.
“This is the industry cutting and running and offshoring expertise to continue making as much profit as possible. Fat cats cannot be trusted with the future of communities, all they care about is their shareholders.
“It has all the hallmarks of a business that having squeezed what it can out of its workforce knows it is running out of road and is looking to cut and run and to hell with the consequences.
“I have already raised this matter with government colleagues and I am seeking assurances that the focus will be on what we can do to support the workers and the community, not give handouts to a climate wrecking business giant that has abandoned them.”