Page last updated at 09:10 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 10:10 UK

Timeline: Grangemouth dispute

About 1,200 Grangemouth workers went out on strike at 0600 BST on Sunday in a row over pensions.

Talks between the two sides, plant owners Ineos and officials from the Unite union, have so far failed to reach an agreement over the on-going dispute.

Here, BBC Scotland's news website sets out how the events are unfolding.


Staff at the Ineos plant return to work at 0600 BST following a 48-hour walk-out.

The oil company's founder Jim Ratcliffe will attend talks in London with representatives from the Unite trade union in a bid to resolve the dispute.

UK Business Secretary John Hutton and Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney visit the plant at Grangemouth.

Oil refinery talks as strike ends


Day two of the strike and extra fuel supplies from Europe arrive in Scotland to make up for possible shortages caused by the Grangemouth strike.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond meet at the House of Commons to discuss the crisis.

The Scottish Government reveals that by midday on Saturday, five of the country's 956 filling stations ran out of fuel, with 70 partly out of fuel.

As the dispute continues oil prices hit a fresh high after North Sea oil production is disrupted.

The closure of the Forties Pipeline System continues to raise fears about supply shortages.

Ships bring extra oil amid strike

The tycoon behind oil plant Ineos

Refinery strike has oil near $120 a barrel


Workers at Grangemouth Oil refinery are holding a rally outside the oil plant.

About 1,200 staff began the two-day walkout on Sunday, following a row over pension scheme changes.

Production has ceased at the plant, Scotland's only oil refinery, and BP has shut its key Forties oil pipeline.

Additional imports of fuel from Europe are to be shipped into Scotland so the country stays on the move through the on-going Grangemouth dispute.

In order to meet demand, about 65,000 tonnes of fuel - or about 10 days' worth of mostly diesel - will arrive over the next few days on seven tankers from ports across Europe.

Included in the convoy will be four major shipments from Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Gothenburg.

Fuel to be shipped into Scotland

Quiet defiance on the picket line


The oil and gas industry urges the government to intervene in the industrial dispute at Grangemouth, Scotland's only oil refinery.

Oil and Gas UK says it is time for ministers to act to avoid further disruption to production.

BP says it is being forced to turn off its Forties pipeline, which delivers 30% of the UK's daily oil.

Meanwhile, ministers and trade bodies continued to urge motorists not to panic-buy fuel, as some petrol stations across Scotland reported shortages.

They ask members of the public to stick to their normal fuel-buying routine.

The petrol retailers' body says most people seemed to be paying attention to the advice.

Industry plea to prevent strike

Drivers urged against fuel rush


The shutdown of the 1,700-acre Ineos oil refinery near Falkirk in central Scotland is complete, the company says.

The closure of the Forties pipeline would lead to the complete shutdown of production in about 65 North Sea oil fields, an expert warns.

Professor Alex Kemp, an oil economist at Aberdeen University, says the shutdown would have a "major" impact on the economy.

The 240 miles of pipeline carries crude oil and gas from the North Sea to Grangemouth for processing.

Strike refinery shutdown complete

Dozens of oil fields 'face shutdown'


Talks between the Unite union and plant bosses break down.

Operators Ineos and the union held two days of talks at conciliation service Acas in a bid to halt the strike by Grangemouth workers.

Plant bosses insist there will be no fuel shortages in Scotland if people refrain from panic-buying.

Company spokesman, Richard Longden, says: "If the general public buy fuel normally, there won't be a problem."

Scottish ministers raise concerns that the planned strike could cause serious problems for North Sea oil and gas.

In addition, trade bosses say the potential loss of production at a secondary plant could cost the UK economy 50m a day.

Refinery strike talks break down

No problem with fuel for public

Strike could cost UK '50m a day'


Negotiations aimed at resolving a dispute which could shut down Scotland's only oil refinery resume.

The Unite union meets Ineos officials at the conciliation service, Acas, in London.

The company begins shutting down the refinery, which processes 210,000 barrels of oil a day.

The strike was voted for in response to plans by Ineos to end its final salary pension scheme for new workers and to make other changes.

A senior petrol industry figure says the strike should not be used to increase the price of fuel at the pumps.

Chris Hunt, director general of the UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA), made his comments as prices were increased at some petrol stations.

Talks resume over refinery strike

Refinery strike price hike fears


Officials from the Unite union sit down with bosses form Ineos to try to settle an on-going dispute.

As talks are held at Acas in London, David Watt, of the Institute of Directors in Scotland, warns of the damage a strike could cause the economy.

Acas talks over refinery dispute

'Be realistic' call to petrol workers


The UK Government enters the row by warning a strike could cause "disruption" to fuel supplies.

Energy Secretary John Hutton says the first stage of contingency plans to ensure fuel supplies are activated.

Meanwhile, Ineos begins a scaled shutdown of the plant in anticipation of the strike.

The Scottish Government also offers to bring in independent pensions' expert Stewart Ritchie to carry out a study into the management changes, pending the agreement of both parties.

Government warning over fuel row

Effort to avert refinery strike


Motorists are urged not to panic buy fuel, amid warnings the Grangemouth shutdown could lead to shortages.

Industry analysts tell the BBC there is no need for drivers to stock up with petrol at the pumps, as Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond urges the union and the operator to enter into talks.

Meanwhile, Ineos claims it may have to shut the refinery for a month on safety grounds and appeal for fresh talks with union officials.

Calm urged over refinery shutdown

Appeal for refinery strike talks


Unions warn planned strike action at the refinery could disrupt fuel supplies and pose a safety threat.

Its national officer, Phil McNulty, says: "We are outraged by the company's plans to close the final salary pension scheme when it has taken 40m from the scheme and slashed its own contributions."

Grangemouth operator Ineos says it is "deeply concerned" about the union's cavalier approach to safety.

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