Statement from UNITE United left
Dear Brothers and Sisters in UNITED LEFT.
Our UNITE members in Ineos at Grangemouth took a massive hit last week when gangster capitalist baron Ratcliffe held a gun to their heads and shut the plant. Instead of criticizing Ratcliffe for blackmailing not only his own workforce, but also the community of Grangemouth and indeed the whole Scottish economy, predictably the media turned on UNITE for daring to stand up to him at all.
Equally predictably the ultra-left is pedalling its usual poison of destructive criticism of our Union. I’m asking you all to resist this nonsense talk of sell-out by Len Mccluskey or anyone else, or that somehow our strategy was wrong and that “mistakes were made”. Let’s be clear, there was no sell-out and mistakes were not made. This billionaire capitalist thug did not offer rational talks on the survival of the plant. No, he attacked and victimised our UNITE convenor Stevie Deans, not exactly the best way of inspiring trust for difficult negotiations. Then he announced a non-negotiable package of concessions from the strong UNITE workforce. Then he carried out his threat to close the plant. I say our members had no choice. We are strong, we are united and we are fighting trade unionists, and none more so than our terrific members at Ineos Grangemouth. But we’re not stupid either. We need those jobs and we need this plant. I say our members did the right thing-fighting all the way right to the end but then deciding democratically for survival when the writing was on the wall. I will always support our members no matter how difficult the decision they have to make.
The real lesson here which of course our media barons do not want us to discuss, is that such incredibly important strategic asserts like Grangemouth must not be left in the hands of unaccountable Swiss-based tax-avoiding bully-boy capitalist barons like Jim Ratcliffe. No better case for nationalisation has been seen in this country. Let’s be united in giving our UNITE members at Ineos a massive round of applause for the tremendous fight they put up and solidarity to them for being blackmailed into submission and support for the decision they made. They won’t forget this experience.
But they’ll understand more than any of us why the nation must take control over Grangemouth before Ratcliffe holds the country to ransom again. He must be laughing all the way to the bank, with public money stuffed into his coffers, significant labour savings under his belt, and absolutely no public scrutiny of his opaque finances and tax avoidance scams- and to top it all escaping public opprobrium thanks to our fawning capitalist media which attacks UNITE for the crisis instead of the real villain of the piece.
United Left Chair