INEOS Grangemouth employees agree to pension revisions

20 December 2013 11:37 Source:ICIS News

Grangemouth refineryLONDON (ICIS)--Switzerland-based chemicals producer INEOS said on Friday that employees at its Grangemouth, UK plant have agreed to pension revisions set out by the company during industrial action at the site in October.

All 1,350 employees at the site have agreed to the new pension proposals, INEOS said. The measures involved shifting pensions for site workers from a final salary model to a defined contribution scheme.

The changes mean that pensions will be built up over the course of an employee’s career, instead of being determind by his or her final salary level at the point of retirement, a hangover from the site’s former ownership by BP that INEOS said was unsustainable.

As part of the arrangement, no changes in salary level will occur for existing employees, the company added.

There is now a growing belief in the future of the plant,” said INEOS Grangemouth chairman Calum MacLean.

Plans to shut down the site following an employee walk-out were cancelled after union Unite agreed to the pension revisions, as well as a three-year pay freeze, a guarantee of no strike action for three years, and no full-time union convenors on site.

The company has also received assurances for £9m ($15m, €11m) in grant funding from the Scottish government and a £125m loan guarantee from the UK government towards the construction of storage and import infrastructure for shale gas from the US.

The company forecasts that shale gas imports will reduce the cost of production at the site to half the European average.

($1 = €0.73, $1 = £0.61, €1 = £0.83)

By Tom Brown