Saturday, 02 August 2014

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John McKenna, Editor

Plant closures as Ineos cuts back after ICI acquisition

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Over a third of the workforce at Ineos Chlor's UK chlor-alkali operation are to lose their jobs as the company cuts back the business.

Over a third of the workforce at Ineos Chlor's UK chlor-alkali operation are to lose their jobs as the company cuts back the business, which it bought from ICI late last year. The job cuts, totalling 618, will be completed by next June.

The company is closing the chlorine cell rooms at its Lostock plant near Northwich, with the loss of 63 jobs, and the cellrooms and EDC plants at Wilton, Cleveland, affecting 105 workers. It is also reducing the headcount at its Runcorn and other mid-Cheshire chlor-alkali operations by 450, from its current total of 1680.

Ineos is presenting the move as vital to save money. 'Our priority has to be to create a sustainable business and one which can fund its own essential involvement in future projects,' says Ineos director Russ Whelan. 'For the sake of all those remaining with the business, it is essential that we take this painful action.'

The company is seeking to make the majority of the job cuts at Runcorn through voluntary redundancy, but says that 'this may not be possible in every case.' The GMB union, which represents the workforce, is seeking urgent talks to avert the possibility of compulsory redundancies.

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