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Workers shut down oil refinery in Scotland

In brief

On April 27, 1,200 workers walked off their jobs at the Ineos oil refinery in Grangemouth, Scotland.

The closure of Scotland’s primary oil refinery has caused oil giant British Petroleum to close down its Forties pipeline which supplies a third of UK’s oil.

The workers are striking to defend their pensions. In September 2006, Ineos proposed ending full-salary pension plans for new employees by Aug. 1 and increasing penalties for workers who retire before 65. Currently, workers can retire at 55 with full pensions.

Under the company’s new plan, early retirement would cost workers 46 percent of their pension and new employees would join a "defined contribution" plan that guarantees no set pension amount at the time of retirement.

A spokesperson for Unite, the workers’ union, explained: "[T]his is a 6 percent pay cut for our existing members, which is completely unnecessary. The [pension] scheme does not suffer from a deficit. It has plenty of money. It is simply about cutting costs for the employer."

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