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Grangemouth shut by Ineos
HAMPSHIRE business tycoon Jim Ratcliffe has pulled the plug on part of one of the biggest oil refineries in Britain.
His firm Ineos has decided to shut down the petrochemical side of the complex at the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland.
Workers were given the grim news at a meeting with Ineos chairman Calum MacLean this morning.
It follows the passing of a deadline on a survival plan put to employees, which asked them to accept changes to pensions and other terms and conditions to stem a loss of around £10m a month.
But the Unite union said around 680 of the site's 1,370-strong workforce had rejected the company's proposals, which include a pay freeze for 2014-16, removal of a bonus up to 2016, a reduced shift allowance and ending of the final salary pension scheme.
Ineos said owner Jim Ratcliffe and other shareholders met yesterday to study the response from the workforce to their survival plan, and wanted the employees to be the first to know of any decision the company makes.
The oil refinery side of the business will remain open, although the row over pay and conditions remains unresolved.
Despite his vast wealth, Mr Ratcliffe, who is ranked at 1,268 in the global Forbes rich list, continues to play a prominent role in the New Forest community.
The multi-million, who has a personal fortune believed to be in excess of £500million, founded Ineos in 1998 and still has offices in Lyndhurst after moving its headquarters to Switzerland.
In 1999 he bought the Line Wood Hotel in Lyndhurst, and his interest in hotels increased when he bought a stake in the Pig Hotel in Brockenhurst.
He also has shares in the Pig in the Wall hotel in Southampton after the venture expanded.
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