Unite today (April 3) called for the Scottish and Westminster parliaments to carry out urgent inquiries into the sale of the Forties Pipeline System from BP to Ineos.
Unite was involved in two major disputes with Ineos over the treatment of workers at the Grangemouth refinery in 2008 and 2013. During the second dispute, the company – owned by billionaire tax-avoider Jim Ratcliffe – threatened to close the facility forever.
The Forties Pipeline System is made up of roughly 100 miles of pipeline and is one of the most important strategic pieces of infrastructure in the North Sea. It carries nearly half a million barrels of oil each day, which amounts to 40 per cent of UK oil production, from 80 different oil fields. At maximum capacity it can bring one million barrels of oil ashore.
“It’s not so long ago that both Grangemouth and the Forties pipeline were owned by all of us, and operated by a nationalised British Petroleum with a responsibility to look at what was good for the country as a whole, not just what was good for a small group of wealthy individuals,” said Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty.
“Both these parts of vital national infrastructure – which are central to the success of the Scottish and wider UK economy are now essentially in the hands of one man.
“Unite firmly believes that this sale is bad for Scotland and the UK. We demand that both the Scottish and Westminster parliament carry out inquiries, and that every MSP and MP in Scotland has a responsibility to make their position clear. Do they believe this sale is in the national interest?”
BP employs around 300 staff to operate and support the Forties Pipeline System and Unite says it has serious concerns about the safety of their jobs, pensions, terms and conditions under Ineos.