Ineos has threatened to close Grangemouth if it doesn’t get its own way.
Tanker driver Tom, said, “When Ravenscraig steelworks was shut down in 1992 it affected the entire community. It’s like a ghost town. The same would happen here.”
The dispute is also putting pressure on the Scottish National Party, which has relied on Scotland’s oil in its case for independence.
Without Grangemouth Scotland would have to export crude oil and import it back as refined fuel. As Unite puts it, this makes the refinery the “powerhouse” of the Scottish economy.
But the threat to close appears hollow. Ineos has invested hundreds of millions which it will not want to walk away from.
And Ineos’s claim to be losing £10 million a month is an accounting trick. Elsewhere its accounts show it expects to make £500 million profit in coming years.
Ineos is using blackmail to turn people against Unite, but the union could turn the tables by taking a stand.