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Grangemouth distillery


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#21 Larry the Leit

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:11 PM

I can see your point but you've got to be so careful with the terminology - we'll drink anything from a distillery around here!


Pah, shareholders and their single malts.

#22 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:44 PM

Some things should be run even if we can't make money from them.  Critical infrastructure such as this should be included in the same "must keep going" category as the NHS, military and the like.


Neither the NHS nor the military are businesses. I'm not sure what makes this so critical. We buy in so many things what makes energy so different?

#23 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:46 PM

Many years ago, I used to deal with an ICI chemical works.
 
The plant's total output comprised only a small proportion of finished saleable product. It primarily made, on a very large scale, feedstock products for  chemical processes conducted at other ICI plants.
 
The parent company regularly told the workers that the plant wasn't meeting its financial targets. However,  those were only notional targets as the gate fees at the receiving plants were set by ICI itself.  The overall processes made a decent profit and there was no way the receiving sites could outsource cheaper feedstock reagents in the requisite volumes and quality.
 
I always have reservations about the claimed economic situation for plants such as this one at Grangemouth. Profit-and-loss figures in multinational organisations are relatively easy to rig.


Why would they wish to close it down if it was making a profit?

Companies don't work that way.

#24 Methven Hornet

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:18 PM

Pah, shareholders and their single malts.


One has to spend one's money on something.
"There are now more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs."

#25 Bostik Bailey

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:22 PM

Why would they wish to close it down if it was making a profit?

Companies don't work that way.


They wouldn't but they would use the apparent non- profitability / high losses to bully the workforce to accept lower pay and conditions. When in reality the business is viable and profitable

#26 Larry the Leit

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:24 PM

They wouldn't but they would use the apparent non- profitability / high losses to bully the workforce to accept lower pay and conditions. When in reality the business is viable and profitable


This seems like an incredible statement to make. I assume that you can back this up with something other that the fact that it's blindingly obvious?

#27 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:58 PM

They wouldn't but they would use the apparent non- profitability / high losses to bully the workforce to accept lower pay and conditions. When in reality the business is viable and profitable


Time will tell. If the plant closes then we can safely assume that it was not "apparent". That would be taking bluffing a little too far.

#28 JohnM

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:27 PM

The man at the heart of the affair is Stephen Deans, convener of the Unite union in Scotland, who has worked at Grangemouth for 24 years. It was Mr Deans' role as chairman of the Labour Party in the Falkirk constituency which landed him in hot water with his employer.

In short, the union official was accused of trying to rig the selection of a candidate for Westminster. It was claimed that Mr Deans had signed up dozens of new members for Labour, promising the recruits that Unite would pay their membership fees on the understanding that they would back the union's choice in the contest to select a new Labour candidate to stand for parliament in Falkirk, to replace the disgraced Eric Joyce.

 

 So it is always possible that the union member should be blaming Unite in some way



#29 Wolford6

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 10:57 PM

Why would they wish to close it down if it was making a profit?

Companies don't work that way.

 

 

It could be that the Grangemouth situation is directly comparable to the situation with Google and Vodaphone's UK tax liabilities.


Under Scrutiny by the Right-On Thought Police


#30 Methven Hornet

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 04:13 AM

Opinion piece in the Herald
"There are now more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs."

#31 Larry the Leit

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 05:02 AM

It could be that the Grangemouth situation is directly comparable to the situation with Google and Vodaphone's UK tax liabilities.


The owners are Swiss based I read. Not sure whether this is that they're actually Swiss based or have a nominal based there.

Edited by Larry the Leit, 24 October 2013 - 05:03 AM.


#32 ckn

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 10:12 AM

There's an answer to this.  Nationalisation.

 

Stage 1:  Nationalise it.  Pay Ineos the very lowest end of a fair market price, obviously taking into account a cold refinery, a closed petrochemical plant, a hostile union, their claims of massive ongoing losses and so on.  Do you think £1 would be too much?

Stage 2:  De-power the unions who'd quite happily kill the plant to get their way by creating a John Lewis style co-operative Partnership.  A few idiot moves by unions that cost the company lots of money and, by association, reduce the money going into employees' hands via profit shares will see them shown the door.


Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway


#33 Griff9of13

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 12:06 PM

Stage 2:  De-power the unions who'd quite happily kill the plant to get their way by creating a John Lewis style co-operative Partnership.  A few idiot moves by unions that cost the company lots of money and, by association, reduce the money going into employees' hands via profit shares will see them shown the door.

 

Is it only me that sees this could be the much talked about, but seldom seen third way. Giving employees a genuine stake in their business combined with meaningful engagement with management and participation in the "big decisions" has to be a good thing. We really need to move away from the "them and us" mentality of the past. Unfortunately there are still far to many in positions of power, on both sides (employers and unions). Ideally there would be no need for unions at all, and I say that as a socialist, not because I want rid of them but because of legislation and decent employment practice by employers would make them redundant. 


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#34 Bostik Bailey

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 12:07 PM

There's an answer to this.  Nationalisation.
 
Stage 1:  Nationalise it.  Pay Ineos the very lowest end of a fair market price, obviously taking into account a cold refinery, a closed petrochemical plant, a hostile union, their claims of massive ongoing losses and so on.  Do you think £1 would be too much?
Stage 2:  De-power the unions who'd quite happily kill the plant to get their way by creating a John Lewis style co-operative Partnership.  A few idiot moves by unions that cost the company lots of money and, by association, reduce the money going into employees' hands via profit shares will see them shown the door.


I like what you are saying, but if the plant is the basket case that Ineos are claiming, just take it off their hands for £1, that way they would immediately save the £10million per month drain on their accounts.

#35 Phil

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 01:49 PM

There's an answer to this.  Nationalisation.

 

Stage 1:  Nationalise it.  Pay Ineos the very lowest end of a fair market price, obviously taking into account a cold refinery, a closed petrochemical plant, a hostile union, their claims of massive ongoing losses and so on.  Do you think £1 would be too much?

Stage 2:  De-power the unions who'd quite happily kill the plant to get their way by creating a John Lewis style co-operative Partnership.  A few idiot moves by unions that cost the company lots of money and, by association, reduce the money going into employees' hands via profit shares will see them shown the door.

 

 

 

Go further than that, hand the plant over to the workers to run it as a worker owned and managed co-op. The workers to make all the descisions which affect them, pay rates, pensions, business plan, production etc.


"Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice, socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality" - Mikhail Bakunin

#36 archibald

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 02:06 PM

There's an answer to this.  Nationalisation.

 

Stage 1:  Nationalise it.  Pay Ineos the very lowest end of a fair market price, obviously taking into account a cold refinery, a closed petrochemical plant, a hostile union, their claims of massive ongoing losses and so on.  Do you think £1 would be too much?

Stage 2:  De-power the unions who'd quite happily kill the plant to get their way by creating a John Lewis style co-operative Partnership.  A few idiot moves by unions that cost the company lots of money and, by association, reduce the money going into employees' hands via profit shares will see them shown the door.

Good stuff, what's my cut? If the workers are getting something for making it more profitable, then what do I get for propping it up?



#37 archibald

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 02:07 PM

If it's that profitable, why don't Unite buy it?



#38 ckn

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 09:47 AM

I just had a coffee with a friend who knows all about the insider world of this kind of thing.  He's certainly no friend of the unions.  I'm now thoroughly convinced that Unite have been Scargilled.  They've been prodded repeatedly until they step into a fight with an opponent who has planned for one and really, really doesn't care if they don't win, just as long as they don't lose to the unions.

 

Unite aren't blameless by any means, it took a threat to one of their union shop stewards before they really stepped up even though unionised workers have been getting the rough end for a good bit of time now.  Just like Scargill, a direct challenge to the union was too much for their egos to handle and they gave Ineos a free hit when they threatened a strike and site shutdown over a shop steward who didn't like being investigated for potentially doing dodgy things on staff time.

 

What it has done is help convince me even further that things like this have no business being run purely for commercial reasons.  All it will take is the owner to shrug and walk away for Scotland to lose 80% of its fuel supplies, the tax write-off alone would make it quite short-term profitable to close the plant then he can just get another subsidiary to buy the plant in liquidation, hire new workers in a non-unionised plant and make even more money.


Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway


#39 Bostik Bailey

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:02 AM

I just had a coffee with a friend who knows all about the insider world of this kind of thing.  He's certainly no friend of the unions.  I'm now thoroughly convinced that Unite have been Scargilled.  They've been prodded repeatedly until they step into a fight with an opponent who has planned for one and really, really doesn't care if they don't win, just as long as they don't lose to the unions.
 
Unite aren't blameless by any means, it took a threat to one of their union shop stewards before they really stepped up even though unionised workers have been getting the rough end for a good bit of time now.  Just like Scargill, a direct challenge to the union was too much for their egos to handle and they gave Ineos a free hit when they threatened a strike and site shutdown over a shop steward who didn't like being investigated for potentially doing dodgy things on staff time.
 
What it has done is help convince me even further that things like this have no business being run purely for commercial reasons.  All it will take is the owner to shrug and walk away for Scotland to lose 80% of its fuel supplies, the tax write-off alone would make it quite short-term profitable to close the plant then he can just get another subsidiary to buy the plant in liquidation, hire new workers in a non-unionised plant and make even more money.


Unfortunately this is now the way of the world. A situation aided and abetted by first Brown with his pension changes then Blair and Mandelson with the 'light touch' attitude to business.

#40 ckn

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:20 AM

Entire site to stay open now

 

Is there any point to union members on site paying their dues any longer?

 

Under the deal, Unite has agreed to a three-year pay freeze, a cut to pension benefits via the abolition of the final salary retirement scheme now £200m in deficit, changes to union agreements on site including no full time union convenors and, most controversially, an undertaking not to strike for three years.

Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway





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