INEOS Grangemouth (UK) said it began talks on Monday afternoon with Unite The Union at the offices of the Arbitration And Conciliation Service (ACAS) in Glasgow.
These talks are intended to find a way to resolve the dispute over Mr. Stephen Deans, an employee representative on the site and to prevent a planned strike action by the union.
Unite has informed INEOS that it intends to hold a 48-hour strike at the site from October 20 until October 22. INEOS has since started the process of taking down petrochemical plants in anticipation of this event.
Grangemouth Petrochemicals (UK) says it is currently facing serious trading issues. The North Sea gases that it relies on for raw materials are in decline, and its major contract with BP runs out in 2017.
The site lost over £576 million in the last four years and is currently losing over £10 million per month. The pension scheme is £200 million in deficit and pension costs are an unsustainable 65% of salary.
We have always been prepared to go to ACAS if this helps to resolve a strike that Grangemouth petrochemical plant and refinery cannot afford," said Calum MacLean, INEOS Grangemouth (UK) chairman. "We hope to be able to resolve the dispute and address the financial issues that threaten the survival of the entire site."