Monday, 21 April 2008

Is Scotland about to grind to a stop?

Very worrying news concerning the potential 48 hour strike by staff at Scotland's only oil refinery at Grangemouth. Most papers up here had headlines this morning about motorists already starting to panic buy fuel. The Scotsman reported at 5am there were queues at the pumps, sales were up 50% and the 1st petrol station had sold out.

The dispute is between members of the Unite union and workers employed at the plant which is owned by Ineos and is centred on pension arrangements. The Scottish Government has offered independent mediators to try and break the deadlock although Westminster has ultimate authority regarding fuel supplies.

Grangemouth's owners have started the process of closing the refinery down ahead of the walk-out by the 1200 workers next Sunday and Monday. It is thought that it could take up to a month to fully restart operations and have supplies running at normal levels. Ineos have suggested that the shut-down could cause "Chaos" for fuel supplies but Unison have described this as "scaremongering".

I suspect that I shall be returning to this subject as events take their course but it's bloody worrying even for a non driver!

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