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Grangemouth – a betrayal foretold

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Issue 2382

Billionaire petrochemicals boss Jim Ratcliffe is adding insult to injury for workers at Grangemouth.

It is just weeks since he blackmailed their union, Unite, into signing up to cuts.

 Now he is slashing hundreds of jobs, as well as thousands of pounds from the remaining workers’ shift pay.

This will come as a body blow to workers who were told that their sacrifices would save their jobs.

But for all that Ratcliffe’s new attack is outrageous, it should come as no surprise.

The agreement Unite signed up to never ruled out job cuts—and there was no reason to take Ratcliffe’s word that he would try to minimise them.

He and his company Ineos have only ever acted in the interests of profit.

But the deal showed him that Unite didn’t have the stomach for a fight, and gave him an advantage he was sure to ram home.

It didn’t have to end like this. Grangemouth workers were well organised, and could have counted on the support of millions across Scotland and the rest of Britain.

When Unite called on them to reject Ratcliffe’s attacks a majority did so, despite the blackmail.

Grangemouth workers gave Unite a clear mandate to take Ratcliffe on.

If Unite had fought they could have dealt the bosses a real blow. Now they are reaping the bitter fruits of its failure to do so.

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