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Grangemouth workers stage rally
Workers at the Grangemouth oil refinery will hold a rally outside the plant today amid a continuing dispute over the future of the site.
Owners Ineos have written to the workers asking them to agree to changes to pensions and other terms and conditions as part of a survival plan.
Unite has accused the company of giving workers an ultimatum of accepting worse pay and conditions or lose their job.
The plant was shut down last week as a result of the dispute.
Unite said MPs and other supporters will join workers at the rally.
Pat Rafferty, Unite's Scottish secretary, said: "Rather than demonstrating, workers want to be working to make sure that Grangemouth has a successful future.
"Instead their livelihoods are being thrown into turmoil because of Ineos' irresponsibility which risks the future of the site.
"Anger is growing among workers and the company now risks destroying good Scottish jobs and a powerhouse of the Scottish economy.
"Our message is clear; we will not give in to the threats and menaces of Ineos.
"We urge the people of Scotland to support us in defending the future of Grangemouth and the livelihoods of a loyal workforce, decent men and women now being stalked by fear.
"Once again I call on Ineos to drop the cynical blackmail, start the plant up and talk seriously about securing a future for Grangemouth."
The company said the dispute had cost it £20 million on top of monthly losses of £10 million. Ineos has warned that the plant will close in 2017 without fresh investment and changes to workers' terms and conditions.
Unite published a strongly-worded advert in a number of Scottish newspapers today titled "a message to the people of Scotland".
The union said Grangemouth is the "powerhouse" of Scotland's economy and urged management to open the plant.
It described Ineos as "out of control" and accused it of "waging a campaign of fear against its employees".
The advert said: "This climate of fear has been created to try to force working men and women into signing away their rights and the pensions which they have saved all their working lives.
"This is a company out of control. This is holding Scotland to ransom."
The advert asked people to support the workforce and contact MPs and MSPs.
Meanwhile, Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe told the Sunday Times that the fate of the plant rests with the workforce.
He said: "This is not a bluff. The clock is ticking, Grangemouth could have a future but that is absolutely in the hands of the workers.
"Raw gas is declining at a rapid rate and we cannot run the plant flat out.
"The situation is very serious but I want to emphasise that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Grangemouth can have a potentially exciting future."