Grangemouth: Row over alleged e-mail leaks

A BITTER dispute at the Grangemouth refinery has threatened to reopen as the UK’s biggest union launched a High Court action against the site owner in a row over alleged e-mail leaks.

Ineos refused to share e-mails concerning Stephen Deans. Picture: Jane Barlow

Unite was last night accused of trying to “undermine” Grangemouth by the site’s owner, Ineos, after the union began the legal action.

The union opened the court case against Ineos after claims it leaked e-mails sent to and from Unite’s former Grangemouth convenor Stephen Deans linked to his alleged involvement in a Labour candidate selection row.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

It said Ineos has refused to let Unite see the e-mails linked to Mr Deans, who was accused of being involved in vote-rigging in Falkirk but later cleared by an investigation.

A dispute over conditions at Grangemouth between Unite and Ineos almost led to the closure of the refinery plant.

Ineos has also been reported to the Information Commissioner by Unite over its refusal to hand over all e-mails relating to a number of union officials, including Mr Deans.

Unite director of legal affairs Howard Beckett said the High Court action was based on a refusal to hand over the e-mails by Ineos. He said: “If companies want to avoid suggestions of a cover up and appearing to have a complete disregard for the law, they need to come clean.”

A spokesman for Ineos insisted the company had “done nothing wrong” and said it would be cleared when the case comes before the courts. He said: “Since the ending of the dispute, Unite has continued to try and undermine the plant.”