Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 13:09 UK

Anger over plant closure proposal

Grangemouth industry view
The Sabic plastics plant is based in Grangmeouth

Unions have criticised a plan to close a plastics plant in Grangemouth with the loss of 95 jobs.

The site, which was inherited by Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic) in 2007, has been making thermoplastics since 1963.

Sabic said it intended to consult workers over its plans, which were part of an extensive business review.

However, the Unite union said the consultation was a futile exercise because it was clear the company intended to close the plant.

Unite's senior regional industrial officer, Pat Rafferty, said: "This closure represents yet another example of how greed-driven multinationals can ride roughshod over the livelihoods of workers in the UK."

Sabic said its proposals were necessary "in order to maintain a competitive position in the marketplace and manage cash".

The company inherited the plant when it bought over General Electric's plastic operations in 2007 in a deal which was worth $11.6bn.

'Market conditions'

It is now the biggest petrochemicals company in the world. However, the latest results announced to the Saudi stock exchange showed the group made a loss in the first three months of this year of $259m, (£175m).

Meanwhile, tile firm Monier Ltd has said it is suspending production at its Stirling factory, resulting in the possible loss of 15 jobs.

The company, which has manufactured Redland tiles at the site since 1969 and employs 25 people in Stirling, will continue to operate its warehousing and depot operation there.

Mark Randall, Monier Ltd's managing director, said the losses stemmed from a prolonged downturn in the housing market.

He added: "The suspension of production is a temporary measure.

"The plant may be mothballed and its future reviewed as market conditions recover.

"We are currently in consultation with those affected and the company is making every effort to help employees affected by this action to secure alternative employment."

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