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Showing posts with label INEOS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label INEOS. Show all posts

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Fracking nonsense

I’m totally opposed to fracking, and since INEOS are at the heart of fracking intentions in Scotland, I’m opposed to this part of their business plan. But ambitious though it is, it’s not quite as ambitious as The National newspaper outlined it in Monday’s edition.

On page 8, a well-written and highly relevant piece by Kathleen Nutt and Stefan Schmid titled ‘Calls for Holyrood to halt all fracking plans’ appeared. with a concise report on the issues, the political state of play and the Infrastructure Bill.

It had one number in it, one crucial number – and that number was egregiously wrong.

It jumped out and hit me between the eyes, as it should have done the editor, and indeed anyone with even the slightest geographical sense of the dimensions of the country of Scotland. But apparently it didn’t …

I addressed it in a light manner on Twitter, fully expecting that someone would have already recognised the error. But no, and although both journalists promptly and courteously replied to my query, one acknowledging the error and promising a correction in Tuesday’s National, none has appeared to date.

(I’ve contacted The National by email – so far, no reply, no correction.)

Here’s the Twitter mini-saga -

TWITTER Jan 26th 2015
Peter Curran @moridura  #fracking What is the radius of INEOS's fracking licences? The National quotes 147m radius. That's 67,887 Scotland is 30,414

Peter Curran @moridura  ·#fracking Scotland's width is 192 miles, length is 254 miles. According to National, INEOS's fracking licences cover a diameter of 294m (radius 147m)

Peter Curran @moridura  ·#frack Today's 'National' p8 - "Ineos .. currently holds the fracking licence for a 147-mile radius around its Grangemouth plant" Does it?

Peter Curran @moridura  #fracking I take it, from the absence of comment, that 'The National' stands behind its 147 mile INEOS fracking radius (of Grangemouth)?
of 294m (radius 147m)

Twitter exchange with co-authors of The National piece, Kathleen Nutt and Stefan Schmid

Peter Curran @moridura @kacnutt Care to comment on my tweet queries on National article (if you were co-author) and Ineos's 147m radius fracking radius re Scotland

Kathleen Nutt ‏@kacnutt @moridura Re article my contribution was on parly votes.

Peter Curran ‏@moridura @kacnutt Thanks, Kathleen - good relevant article - my only query is 147m radius stat.

Peter Curran @moridura  @kacnutt Geographically as well as environmentally, if the 147m radius is not a typo ...

Peter Curran ‏@moridura @StefanSchmid03 Care to comment about my tweet queries on your p8 National fracking radius of 147m for Ineos, Stefan? All I want is facts.

Stefan Schmid ‏@StefanSchmid03 @moridura Cheers for bringing that up. Was just a really sloppy mistake, it is a 127 mile area. Should be in corrections tomorrow.

@StefanSchmid03 Thanks, Stefan. God knows, we all make mistakes. (Are there no editors to pick them up?) Fracking's a serious game

@StefanSchmid03 It's when you're most buried in detailed researched that you're at risk from single key stats (I know!). Last looks vital!

Stefan Schmid ‏@StefanSchmid03   @moridura I’ll be taking the blame for that one, spent a lot of time researching the topic over the past months so shouldn't get that wrong.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Independence, Grangemouth – and facing economic realities for YES

Grangemouth – and I mean the town, not just the plant – is saved. Can anyone not celebrate that? The answer unfortunately is yes – there are those who welcomed the good news with less whole-hearted enthusiasm. I am not among them – I am wholly in tune with the mood of the returning workers – ranging from infinite relief to ecstatic joy - at least as captured by this clip, which of course some will argue has been manipulated by the ever-Machiavellian BBC – the Union’s not-so-secret weapon. etcetera, etcetera.

The  Sunday Herald (27th Oct 2013) offered excellent coverage of the events leading up to the closure crisis and the subsequent deal, and Iain Macwhirter wrote an objective analysis that doesn’t duck the patent facts that many other commentators have avoided – that Unite the Union (aided by a chorus of ill-informed Labour and left-wing politicians and alternative media commentators) made an ass of itself and endangered, not only the livelihoods of their members, but the entire Grangemouth community and the Scottish economy. The management don’t smell of roses either …

I’d plan to say a lot more than this, but decided that, after the resignations of Stephen Deans, it would be counter-productive.


Was the management blameless?

Clearly, no.

Is it a good thing that the fate of hundreds of workers and a key part of the Scottish economy is in the hands of a global company with one dominant shareholder?

Again clearly, no.

Have trades unions - and specifically Unite the Union - a vital role to play in Scotland and in an independent Scotland?

Absolutely and unequivocally YES

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Grangemouth, INEOS, Unite - and the point of freedom to act …

When and why would an employer want to end negotiations and present a trade union with a deadline?

The answer almost always relates to a pressing need to achieve changed working practices and reduce the paybill in times of recession, in the face of severe competition or challenging economic times. Quite simply, a company sees the management’s right to manage the business and react to market conditions as being unacceptably constrained by their inability to negotiate change with employee representatives.

From the union perspective, the failure to negotiate change lies with the employers and the negotiating stance they adopted. Unions are there to protect the jobs and the terms and conditions of their members, and their instinct is to resist any change that threatens these things, but unions can and do accept the need for change and have negotiated change – quite radical change – when they are convinced of the rationale for that change and have recognised that the alternatives to it are even more unacceptable - for example, failure and closure of the business.

(When there is a failure to negotiate a vital change agenda with a trade union, the roots of that failure can usually be traced to the nature of the management/union relationship over many years, and serious deficiencies in the company’s employee relations practices.)

From a union perspective, it is all too easy to confuse endless protracted discussion over management change proposals as negotiation, when in fact, it is not.

Negotiation requires reciprocal movement and concession, and a recognition of timescales and the inevitability of one or both side reaching the point of freedom to act - when negotiation ends, management implements and union strikes.

INEOS and Unite are at the point.

If Scottish Government can't help INEOS and Unite negotiate change, how the hell are they going to negotiate independence?