Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

Push to end Ineos pension dispute

Workers at the Grangemouth oil refinery begin a 48-hour strike
The strike by Grangemouth workers resulted in the closure of the plant

New pension proposals that could bring an end to the long-running dispute at Grangemouth's Ineos plant are being considered by the Unite trade union.

Members have until 26 January to reach a decision on the changes.

Agreement would conclude the dispute which saw 1,200 petrochemical workers walk out for 48 hours in April 2008.

The industrial action, which cost the company about 170m, resulted in the closure of the plant and halted much of the UK's North Sea oil production.

In a joint statement Ineos and Unite said it would not be appropriate to comment on the detail of the proposals while they are under consideration.

Gross revenues

The statement said: "Ineos and Unite can confirm that specific proposals have been made to the members of the pension plan regarding changes to the pension scheme and that these proposals will be considered through to the 26th January 09.

"Unite can also confirm that they are planning to hold a meeting with their members on Monday 26 January to further review the proposals.

"During this period of consultation both the company and the trade union agree that it would be inappropriate to comment on the detail of the proposals."

Meanwhile, Ineos announced that it had made more than 1,500m gross revenues for 2008.

Despite the dispute, it said its annual Ebitda figure - earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation - showed it had made 1,520m.

Ineos, the UK's biggest privately-owned company, will announce detailed trading figures in February.

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