Closure of chemical plant to affect 'hundreds of workers'

GMB said the closure of the Versalis plant in Grangemouth will put 135 jobs at direct risk.

Closure of chemical plant to affect ‘hundreds of workers’ © Google Maps 2024

The closure of a chemical plant in Grangemouth is set to put hundreds of jobs at risk.

GMB Scotland said the closure of the Versalis plant, in Bo’ness Road, will put 135 jobs at direct risk along with many more agency and contract staff.

The news comes after Petroineos announced it would be closing town’s the oil refinery, creating the potential loss of around 400 jobs.

Talks around the future of the Versalis, which is part of the talian energy company Eni’s chemical division, had been going on for several months but GMB was told of the closure at a meeting on Thursday morning before staff were informed.

The first job losses are expected in April.

Dom Pritchard, GMB Scotland organiser, said discussions were underway with the company to ensure that workers secure the best possible redundancy terms.

He said: “We have been in talks with management for some time and, while closure was an option, this news is a body blow for many of our members, their families and the communities where they live.

“The impact of this decision will not only be felt by workers inside the plant but among suppliers and support staff.

“We will be continuing our discussions with the company and working tirelessly to ensure those workers losing their jobs receive the best terms possible.”

A spokesperson for Versalis said: “Versalis UK, as part of the collective consultation process, informed employee representatives and trade unions (GMB union, Unite union) that, due to worsening conditions of the elastomers market, declining sales, increasing costs and negative outlook, the company has arrived at the final decision to close the Grangemouth plant.

“This decision follows a thorough and open analysis of the different alternatives and proposals discussed during the ongoing consultation process.

“The cease of the production and consequent closure of the plant is estimated to commence in April 2024 with redundancies occurring on a phased basis. The process will be managed in full compliance with legal requirements.”

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