One Man And His Petrochemical Plant











One Man And His Petrochemical Plant

Thanks to Rose Garnett and Peter Curran.

Greg Moodie
National Collective


About Greg Moodie

Greg Moodie is a writer and graphic designer with an impressively ludicrous CV and a poor recollection of anything on it. Technically Dundonian, he says he graduated from the city’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art ‘before the invention of fire’ but that, like Vegas, what happened there stayed there.

There are 39 comments

        1. David Baillie

          Somewhat less than the managers of that plant who have presided over a £10 million a month loss (although that figure seems to be work of creative accounting). Wonder if they are receiving the wage freeze?

          1. John Smith

            98% of workers would like to have those T & C’s & not have the responsibility to own the place, just turn up & twiddle a few vv’s from time to time

          2. David Baillie

            “twiddle a few vv’s” … I’m pretty sure if that’s all that was involved they wouldn’t be getting paid those rates. If it is, the management are even more culpable. I’ve yet to meet a manager in that industry that has much of a clue mind you. It’s pretty good that this multi-national business has managed to [email protected] up so badly, yet manage to get state handouts to help pay for those T&Cs

          3. John Smith

            That is where Unite have done a good job for its members. A couple of guys that run the control panel are worth a bit more but the rest are semi skilled at best. Chemical plant manning is built around emergencies, that means most of the staff are not really needed & idle a lot of the time.

            I do not notice anyone else coming in to run the place
            Unites bad behaviour & dogma precedes them

          4. David Baillie

            perhaps, but many of the staff are contractors and don’t even get the benefits of pensions or sick pay. If they are “semi skilled” and I can’t comment on that as I know only a couple of the engineers and they are degree qualified, I’d say that description would also apply to the management in that place.

          5. John Smith

            Unites disgusting behaviour left many good contractors & subbies in the lurch. I doubt the degree qualified engineers are in a union, as they will have confidence in their own ability.

            Unite were prepared to sacrifice a lot of good workers & the local community on the back of pure politics

          6. David Baillie

            Unite never threatened industrial action over the deal on the table? The company shut down the plant unilaterally. it’s fairly clear the company had an agenda from the start and the suspension of the union official was “bait”. I wonder how much the plant closure cost the company? Will you be condemning that “disgusting behaviour”. PS the engineers in question are Unite members, as I believe they like a bit of a voice and protection from rogue employers. The same employers who haven’t paid corporation tax for 5 years, stalled on their VAT bill for a year, moved their HQ overseas in a “huff” because they were told to pay up like everyone else, mismanaged their pension fund to a deficit of £250 million, and used “creative accounting” to write of huge assets and post those huge losses. On top of that, they are now getting masive handouts from the state, clearly the “risk” of capitalism extends beyond the banks.

          7. John Smith

            Yes they want to make an ageing refinery viable for the future
            Anything illegal in among all that stuff?
            I ask again who else what take this plant on with its wrong set up & a bolshie union in place?

            Things are bad if graduate engineers think they have to join a herd!

          8. David Baillie

            That aging refinery has had over £400 million invested according to INEOS and the subsequent write down of this investment has been one of the reasons for the “loss” accordingly to the accounts. Is that an indication of poor business strategy, local management issues or as a result of a disruptive unproductive workforce? Nothing illegal in what they are doing, but isn’t that the story the world over with globalised multi-nationals with creative accounts and tax avoidance schemes? According to Scottish Government sources there were two interested parties, but that’s all it was, “an interest”, but plan B obviously was never the preference, considering the fallout and what’s happening in Scotland in the coming year.

          9. John Smith

            Apart from the poor plant set up at Grangemouth, this article covers it well.
            With Unite still in place I expect it to struggle again in the future

            ‘Businesses are really struggling, he said: “Simply put, the high cost of crude oil, rising cost of energy in the UK, refining overcapacity in Europe, weak domestic demand and growing competition from new plants in Asia and the Middle East, means Europe’s refiners are struggling; margins are poor and their market share is dwindling.”

            They also have to compete with the US, he said: “Traditionally the US would import gasoline and export diesel; now thanks to the shale gas boom which is providing much cheaper fuel than in the UK, the US is importing less gasoline and competing with Europe in the export market.”

            This doesn’t paint a good picture going forward, added the analyst: “Throw into the mix the cost of proposed UK and EU emissions legislation, then the future of the industry looks pretty dire.”

            – See more at:

            After a diabolical showing Swinney & the SNP had to cover their asses, on other people interested.
            After Coryton NO ONE would touch it with a bargepole

          10. David Baillie

            Just clarify, my condemnation of INEOS does not let Unite of the hook, they were niavely led like lambs to the slaughter over an issue that want even related to the finances or future of the plant. As stated elsewhere, it was “the speed dating equivalent of the miners strike’, they are screwed now with little room to manoeuvre. I await with baited breath what INEOS do next with their “free” card and public funds sitting in their hipster.

          11. John Smith

            It will be interesting, as many think this Refinery & chemical plant is a basket case, with the workforce too often working against them, rather than their well paid future

          12. David Baillie

            That is if you buy the company line hook, line and sinker, I personally do not. INEOS has a track record for fancy accounting and playing fast and loose with business practices. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. There is a lot said about the “well paid” staff in the press, but not much about the managers and owners and how much money they are raking in. As I said before, when they come cap in hand for public funds then their business should be based in the UK, open to independent scrutiny, and they should be paying their fair share of tax. It seems to me, the models where the employees are included in the process, brought in the boardroom (shareholders) and where unions and companies work together (Germany etc) the outcome seems far more productive.

          13. John Smith

            I think you will find that Ineos is one of the few companies left that can make a go of this refinery, in an almost perfect storm.
            All the ‘blue chips’ cleared off years ago, after failing, never to be seen again.
            Ineos’s tactics are very direct & can be painful to the employees but they have been successful in recovering chemical plant that is ageing & economically failing.
            I say once again they are the only show in town. Let them run it, or close it?
            Their management is very competent at turning round failed assets

            The german model is always held up & I am clear that it would only work in Germany. Their union reps are very good at balancing all aspects of a business. Our Unions are not interested in that, they only represent the employees, not other non union employees, the customers, suppliers, contractors, shareholders & the capital

          14. Sergey Tokarev

            Your argument looks almost compelling. Are you ready to bet money that it is correct, or compare intelligence otherwise?

          15. Sergey Tokarev

            A nice quotation. I am wobbling. Still, I don’t see the amount you are ready to commit to prove that you are right, or that you are more intelligent. In anticipation of your reply.

          16. David Baillie

            lol betting on a discussion on an online forum … seriously. How many rubles to the pound these days?

          17. Sergey Tokarev

            I just mean what I say on online forums as well as in other places, so I don’t see anything special in forums. I don’t know the exchange rate, perhaps around 50 rubles per pound. Currency doesn’t matter. Depending on amount, we can use WebMoney with both escrow accounts and dispute resolution center. Actually I suspect that you will disappear at once as all people with advanced mindsets do. Best wishes.

          18. David Baillie

            I let the data answer the questions, all you have to do is find the relevant articles to a argue your case. I can wait as long as you want, promise I won’t disappear 🙂

          19. Sergey Tokarev

            David, sorry but I don’t get it. English is not my mother-tongue, you know. Do you bet money or not?

          20. David Baillie

            I never bet money, not something I believe in. I am happy to debate with you on the merits of the evidence you can provide, money is not something I need to worry about and therefore has no value in this discussion. Just provide the studies that you base your argument on.

          21. Sergey Tokarev

            I told you won’t. None of you ever would bet a pence, leaving along risking for your views something more valuable. One gay made an argument that a straight man is more likely to be a pedophile than a gay. I said his argument was wrong. I dislike this issue and don’t comment much, just pointed at logical error btw. Many of those who oppose anti-propaganda law are predators salivating at young boys. This gay is kind of decent, simply his argument was wrong. Then Ardjan intervened with senseless insults and was duly rebutted, and then you appeared with even less sensible and more rude posts and links supporting my, not your, point of view. And it was you who was talking about ‘upbringing, education and intelligence’. Too much ado. Pathetic. Take care.

          22. David Baillie

            lol, because I won’t bet with a complete stranger online means there is no “risk”. Clearly a cultural thing, because you lot have no cash. What is this risk??? You clearly aren’t used to intellectual debate. I put forward my point of view backed up by academic study, you have produced nothing!

            Then you produce this statement: “Many of those who oppose anti-propaganda law are predators salivating at young boys” … again more conjecture, backed up with no facts whatsoever. Please justify your statements, if you can’t put up then your argument is invalid. What links did I provide that supported your point of view? lol clearly the education system in old mother Russia is somewhat limited, you have provided no argument or evidence whatsoever, nothing, just a bigoted point of view. I bet you a million dollars yeah right … ha ha ha ha … brilliant stuff.

          23. Sergey Tokarev

            David, one million dollars is too much. I can bet that amount, but will have to sell or put in pledge certain things. Besides, I am far from sure you are worth anything. Nothing personal. Let us open an escrow account at Webmoney and fill it in increments? Staying in touch. It is getting somewhere. How unusual. I was sure none of you had either brain or balls.

          24. David Baillie

            How about you cut the bullshit and answer the question rather the side issue of whether you like a bet. Just provide your facts, and stop avoiding the debate. Whether you think I have “either brain or balls” is irrelevant. I don’t take money from children or the weak minded, so prove you are neither and backup your statements. If you can’t then you are just wasting my time and yours childish irrelevant posts.

          25. Sergey Tokarev

            Do you have balls? Sorry for my English. In your previous post you said yes and offered a bet for grown-ups, now again you are a kid? Are you a man with balls or not? How small should be an increment for you to make decision, open an account and call it square? Balls, you know?

          26. David Baillie

            ha ha ha I was mocking your childish attempts to deflect from the debate by introducing a bet (very Russian?). Never have I heard of such nonsense on a subject of intellectual debate. Just show your evidence and claim the moral high ground by winning the argument, financial incentive is of no interest to me. So far you have provided nothing at all, except continually arguing about betting money. Last chance provide evidence for your statements or go away and stop boring everyone. Come on just one piece of evidence, something simple, perhaps where you get your notions. Have you been abused by a gay person perhaps?

          27. Sergey Tokarev

            OK. Please reread our conversation from the very beginning, the one for whom ‘financial incentive is of no interest’. One person made an argument that Putin is more likely to be a pedophile that Tchaikovsky, because 92-98% of pedophiles are straight. The percentage of straights though is roughly the same, so to say 92% of pedophiles are straight and 92% of people are straight therefore a straight is more likely to be a pedophile is wrong. I avoid such terms as ‘correlation’ in order to not insult you, because of course you never heard those. It seems that the percentage of pedophiles among straights and gays doesn’t vary significally, which I said and you sent a link saying the same. Now for a number of hours you are arguing with (me? yourself? your link?) you name it. You will never reach my league both in terms of intelligence and education. I hope now I have succeeded in chewing this stuff to make it digestible to you. I wish you best of luck.

          28. David Baillie

            Putin stated that gays are welcome as long as they leave the children alone, yet he never said anything about hetrosexuals when the chances of a paedophile being hetrosexual is higher. This is what the other poster was saying and what I stated as well, Putin is demonising a minority for his own political gain using the ignorance of the masses to his advantage. The statement suggest that gays are more likely to be predators of children and he is the leader of your country, what a frightening prospect.

            You let your mask slip with this statement “Many of those who oppose anti-propaganda law are predators salivating at young boys”, and then could not back up such utter nonsense.

            You also then verbally abused posters then take umbrage when you receive the abuse back.

            Good luck in all your endeavours, Russia must be such a bleak place to live.

          29. David Baillie

            “Many of those who oppose anti-propaganda law are predators salivating at young boys” … that is just hilarious

          30. Sergey Tokarev

            Sorry, David, for being persistent. It seems that there is a glitch not only on MT site but also here. I see neither amount nor apologies. Sincerely yours..

          31. David Baillie

            The site has screwed up this discussion. Simply put, being a scientist I look at the data and the peer reviewed studies done, please provide references to relevant academic studies to argue your case.

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