Govts seek Grangemouth resolution as strike ends

29-04-2008

Govts seek Grangemouth resolution as strike ends
Workers at the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland are returning to work, as politicians seek a resolution of the dispute which caused the strike.

A two-day strike on Sunday and Monday has resulted in disruption to Britain's oil supplies, with the government forced to bring in additional imports from abroad to prevent major shortages.

Today both Mr Hutton and Scottish government finance secretary John Swinney are visiting the plant in an attempt to bring workers and managers together.

"The agreement reached to keep the site 'warm' during the strike means we're likely to see a relatively swift restoration of operations," Mr Hutton said.

"But now is the time for Unite and [operating firm] Ineos to get back to the negotiating table. This is what I'll be saying at my meetings today… this is where this dispute must end."

The strike ended at 07:00 BST today and is estimated to have cost the offshore oil and gas sector at least £50 million in revenue. Mr Hutton will meet with industry representatives in Edinburgh later today.

Mr Swinney echoed Mr Hutton's call for the dispute to be settled, emphasising that "that can only be done by both sides getting round the table".

He thanked the Scottish public for helping conserve fuel and asked them to delay further fuel purchases until later in the week if possible.

"The public response to the current dispute has been overwhelmingly measured and responsible," Mr Swinney said.

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond and prime minister Gordon Brown discussed the Grangemouth situation in private last night.

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