Page last updated at 13:09 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Deal agreed to end Ineos dispute

Ineos plant at Grangemouth
Workers at the plant have agreed to back a new pension scheme

A deal to end a long-running pensions dispute that led to fuel rationing and queues at forecourts has been reached.

Unite trade Union members have voted to back proposals put forward by Ineos, the company which operates the huge petrochemical plant in Grangemouth.

The deal will see Ineos leave its pension scheme open to new entrants, but members will pay contributions.

The dispute, which cost the company about 170m, halted much of the UK's North Sea oil production in April 2008.

It began after Ineos said the level of contributions it was paying to its pensions scheme was unsustainable.

Workers took part in a 48-hour strike at the plant in April 2008 saying the company's proposed changes would close the scheme to new entrants and reduce the provision for existing members.

'Ultimately successful'

Phil McNulty from Unite said the deal represented over eight months of negotiations between shop stewards and managers.

He said: "The most important thing is that the scheme remains open to new entrants and there will be no loss in benefits although members will be asked to pay a contribution."

In a statement Ineos said: "Ineos and Unite can confirm that an agreement has been reached on the future of the Innovene pension plan.

"This brings to an end the on-going dispute between the company and the trade union."

Gordon Grant, the Grangemouth works general manager added: "This agreement is the result of a lengthy and sometimes difficult but ultimately successful consultation and negotiation.

"With this now behind us, the site can now fully concentrate on its manufacturing activities."

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