INEOS is a young company. It has grown through a series of related acquisitions to become the world’s third largest chemical company with sales today approaching $45 billion.
Most of our employees have spent all their working lives in the chemical or oil industry. They arrived at INEOS from companies such as BASF, Bayer, Borealis, BP, Degussa, Dow, Enichem, Hoechst, ICI, Norsk Hydro, Unilever, and Solvay.
In the UK 2006-
Sales of £18.134 Billion, Profit of £630 Million (source Ineos declaration to Sunday Times KPMG Profit Track 100) year end 2006.
What it is doing at Grangemouth (Grangemouth-home of Lowlife!!!!!) refinery-
BBC:- Phil McNulty, national officer of Unite, insisted that the company was profitable and the pension scheme was well-funded and affordable. The union has previously said that Ineos is planning to close the final salary pension scheme after taking £40m from it and slashing its own contributions. Mr McNulty added: “The changes to the scheme Ineos are proposing are unreasonable, unnecessary and have forced our members at Grangemouth to take industrial action for the first time.”
First strike at an oil refinery for 73 years to go ahead– “The company is profitable, and the pension scheme in its present form is well funded and affordable. The changes to the scheme Ineos are proposing are unreasonable, unnecessary and have forced our members at Grangemouth to take industrial action for the first time. An agreement has been reached between the union and the company on the safe and orderly shut down of the plant. Previous claims by Ineos that Unite had not given adequate consideration to safety are untrue and deeply upsetting for our members and the local community.”
Thanks for the ‘insisted” BBC, such neutral dry journalistic language that, gee with a some googling I found out how profitable it was so no need to act as if there is some contention over that, the corporation itself declares it is profitable (unless it’s all porkie pies and they are on their uppers, hmm let me see, record oil prices, I think they might be making a few quid)! The Ineos Refining plant in Grangemouth (from Ineo’s own literature PDF here)-
INEOS Refining is Europe’s leading independent crude oil refiner. With two particularly advantaged refineries it processes more than 410,000 barrels of crude oil per day, to produce in the region of 20 million Tonnes of fuels per annum. Refineries are strategically located at Grangemouth Scotland and Lavéra France and are both fully integrated with co-sited petro-chemical assets of the company. Close proximity to feedstocks and customers are key elements of the business’ strength. Grangemouth is directly connected to the Forties oil field system in the North Sea and also imports other crudes from around the world via its deep sea terminal on the west coast of Scotland.
• Turnover $10 bn
• Personnel 1,000
• Pedigree BP and Innovene
• Volume 410,000 barrels per day of crude distillation capacity, processing 150 million
barrels of oil to produce 20 million tons of fuel per annum
• Logistics Lavéra: located on the coast of the Mediterranean crude oil trading basin, next to the port of Marseille and adjacent crude oil terminal. Linked by
pipeline to the hinterland of France, Switzerland and Southern Germany and
benefiting from efficient road, rail and sea facilities
Grangemouth: located on the Firth of Forth benefits by having direct access
to crude oil and gas from the North Sea via the Forties Pipeline System
(FPS), with additional crude oil import capability and fuel export facility at
the Finnart Ocean Terminal on the west coast of Scotland. Finished products
exported by pipeline, road, rail and sea
From Ineos Vision & Values–
Excellence in safety, health and environmental performance
Focus on customer satisfaction, total quality and reliability
Continuous improvement to become the lowest cost producer of high quality products
Encouragement of innovation, entrepreneurship and reward for achievement
Empowerment of employees to create real value for our customers and ourselves
Which is a polite way of leaving out- screwing our workers to maximise profit- which in this instance is going to cause a fuel shortage because the workers for some reason think a company that made £630 million in profit in 2006 shouldn’t be taking from their pension fund and reducing the scheme. Uppity buggers. So any bets on this being reported as- Irrational Corporate Greed causes Fuel Crisis? Hmmm, any takers?
One could write to them and urge them to settle with the union, serve their customers and share the North Sea wealth, instead of cursing fuel shortages direct that energy to-
INEOS Manufacturing Scotland
INEOS Refining Grangemouth
PO Box 21
Tel: +44 (0) 1324 48342
It might also be nice to urge politician’s in Scotland (ahem the Labour party) to support the workers and thus reach a quick solution. Best of all the profits from fossil fuels should be largely invested in new clean energy as oil based activity is environmentally poor and it is…how do you say it- running out. Or perhaps we should just leave things to corporations, after all they know how to make huge profits by siphoning off the pension fund, why with that level of innovation there’s no telling what they could come up with!
Update: This (ht2 Rebellion Sucks) [and confirmed by ‘Lord’ Rees Mogg although obviously he doesn’t take the workers side!] suggests the profits of late have dived due to the financial climate, that Ineos is structured more like an equity caper that is raiding the pensions to make up for debts from its rapid buying spree, all financed with huge loans. And as an ideological stance of maximum profits over just wages & benefits –
What lies behind the dispute? The Grangemouth refinery became part of the Ineos Group, when it bought Innovene from BP for $9 billion in 2005. This was part of the debt-funded buying spree that in ten years created what is now the world’s third largest chemicals producer from a standing start in 1997/8.
Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos chairman and CEO, and listed by the Sunday Times as the UK’s 10th richest man in 2007, borrowed $12 billion for the Innovene deal from Barclays Capital, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. The extra cash of about $3 billion was used by Ratcliffe, known as “the alchemist”, to refinance Ineos’ existing debt. And it helped to treble Ratcliffe’s estimated personal fortune to £3.3 billion.
Ineos is in trouble. Its sales and profits have been falling. In the third quarter 2007, its before-tax profits went negative – it started to make a loss. The impact of the falling value of the dollar only served to make things worse. In third quarter 2006 it made a profit of 96.9m euros on sales of 7395.7m euros. A year later, debt financing costs helped turn a gross profit of 485.9m euros on sales of 6934.1m euro into a before-tax loss of 0.9 m euros. But a tax rebate turned the loss into a profit of 1.2 m euros.
Closure of the final salary pension scheme to new entrants and reduction of the value of pensions for existing workers at Grangemouth that sparked the dispute will prove to be part of a global assault by Ineos on wages, pensions and working conditions. As the global financial and economic crisis deepens, firms in every corner of the globe will passing the burden on to their workforce if they can.
Grangemouth workers should seek support from unions across the globe in their struggle to defend conditions. They should build a campaign to transfer petrochemical production into social ownership under the control of the workforce. This will not only create the conditions for defending pensions, jobs and other rights but a necessary step in dealing with the depletion of resources and global warming that both arise from the chase for profit.