Tayside and Central Scotland

Grangemouth Unite convener Mark Lyon sacked

Grangemouth
Image caption The Grangemouth refinery was the scene of a bitter dispute last year

A union convener at the Grangemouth petrochemicals complex, the scene of a bitter industrial dispute last year, has been sacked.

Unite said Mark Lyon was dismissed for not stopping the union from commenting over fears of job losses at the plant.

The union said it would be taking legal action on his behalf.

Site operators Ineos said it had no comment to make. A spokesman said: "This is a confidential issue between the company and Mr Lyon."

Unite claimed Mr Lyon had been "tried in his absence" and said there was significant medical evidence that he was suffering from a serious stress-related illness as a result of the treatment he had "endured" at the hands of Grangemouth's owners Ineos.

The union said: "Unite believes that Ineos was determined to rush through a disciplinary process against Mr Lyon, denying his legal representatives the appropriate time to prepare his defence.

"Unite will be appealing the company's decision and issuing an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and victimisation for trade union reasons."

Pat Rafferty, Unite's Scottish secretary, said: "Once again, a decent man and loyal employee has been hounded out of his job by Ineos.

"The rank hypocrisy of Ineos knows no bounds. The company withdrew its defamation action against Unite to 'draw a line under the dispute', yet at the same time it was drafting a letter dismissing a Unite convener."

Bitter dispute

Grangemouth was at the centre of a dispute last year, which led owners Ineos to threaten to close part of the site if workers did not agree to a rescue package to help secure its future.

Unite had been threatening strikes over the suspension of former union convener Stevie Deans, but the union decided to accept the company's proposals, and Mr Deans resigned from his job.

He was also chairman of the Falkirk Labour Party, which was embroiled in a dispute over claims that Unite had tried to influence the selection of a candidate.

An internal report was drawn up for the party, with Unite insisting it had done nothing wrong.

The row led to Labour leader Ed Miliband announcing reforms in the historic link between the party and unions - changes which were agreed by the party's national executive on Monday.

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