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?
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