A billionaire British owner eliminated workers’ pensions and affordable healthcare after takeover
Press contact: Kara Deniz Email: [email protected]
(ASHTABULA, Ohio) – More than 140 workers picketed the titanium dioxide production plant of INEOS Pigments in Ashtabula, Ohio on Thursday to demand that the company and its owner and founder, the British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, stop violating American labor law and negotiate a first contract.
The workers are represented by Teamsters Locals 377 and 1033C of the UFCW Chemical Workers International Union Council. INEOS Pigments, a subsidiary of INEOS, is one of the largest producers of titanium dioxide in North America and the leading producer of titanium chemicals.
In September 2021, INEOS Pigments workers at Factory 2 in Ashtabula voted to form a union after the company cut workers’ pensions, raised the cost of family healthcare by more than $100 per week and started using under-trained contractors to do work at the plant. ease.
“James Ratcliffe and the other bullies who run this company are trying to line their pockets by taking away workers’ pensions and destroying their health care,” said Sean M. O’Brien, general chairman of the Teamsters. “They can’t get away with this. If this company doesn’t negotiate a contract that honors the contributions of its workers in the United States, we have to hold them accountable.”
“Rather than negotiate a first contract in good faith, this notoriously union-busting company decided to use blocking tactics, including refusing to respond to offers and requests for information for months at a time, to avoid negotiating. a first contract,” said Sam Cook. , secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 377.
In 2008 and again in 2013, Unite the Union was embroiled in major disputes with INEOS in the UK, when the company attacked pensions and threatened to close the Grangemouth refinery if the union refused to accept new terms.
“INEOS would not be the profitable chemical giant that it is without these workers, but the company has cut benefits such as pensions and health care that allow them to support their families,” said Ron Moore. , International Representative of the UFCW Chemical Workers International Union Council, Local 1033C. “Our members will not allow INEOS to continue to violate employment law and treat them as if they were disposable. We will continue to raise our voices and demand that they stop delaying tactics and negotiate in good faith to address our concerns.
As of December 31, 2021, Ratcliffe controlled nearly 62% of INEOS shares. INEOS’ operating profit reached €2.78bn ($2.72bn) in 2021, a 334% increase on 2020.
As well as managing chemical, oil and gas interests around the world, INEOS also owns and sponsors several professional sports teams and British fashion brand Belstaff, which operates clothing stores in New York and Los Angeles.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hard-working men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and ‘like’ us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.