I don't want to derail the thread on indignation where this issue was briefly raised, especially given the positive development of discussion, so here's a few points on the Ineos vote for a strike/lock-out at Grangemouth.
The company want a no-strike agreement, a 3-year pay freeze, cuts in shift pay, new conditions for new workers and an end to the final salary pension scheme. Out of two-thousand four-hundred direct and contracted workers the Unite trade union balloted just 100 workers for a 48-hour strike over a company enquiry into Unite convenor, Stevie Dean, and eighty-one workers voted to strike. Note that this wasn't a strike over the company demands above - and the Unite union has already delivered flexibility in spades and maintains an open-ended committment to continnue to do so - this was a strike over the actions of Ineos against a Unite convenor who was recently involved in the murky politics of the Falkirk Labour Party in Scotland. Do you think that Unite would have proposed a strike over an ordinary worker or group of workers that advocated or engaged in some form of self-organisation. Of course they wouldn't - Stevie Dean and his Unite cronies, following the Ineos/Unite Disciplinary Procedure, would have been co-signing, along with the company, their dismissal notices or their final warnings.
Not only did the unions call off this pathetic strike before it started, "in the interests of maintaining production", it called off the work-to-rule and overtime ban that the workers had implemented and stuck to. Work-to-rules and overtime bans are tenuous forms of struggle at best but can be weapons of proletarian struggle particularly if they take place in a positive dynamic. At every turn the workers have been undermined by the Unite union which has served to weaken their hands.
The Unite non-strike and the company lock-out are just two sides of the same coin - both attacks on the working class. And underneath there is anger and combativity amongst the workers and this has been simmering for years as I discussed with the Ineos tanker drivers that I met at work. We've also seen in the recent past the potential that this movement can take on - I think partly because of the mobility of the tanker drivers. At a rally for Ineos workers today (organised by the union), BP tanker drivers turned up as well as other workers.
The SWP are advocating the nationalisation of Ineos and there's the added pressure of Scottish nationalism.