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A trade union has slammed calls from the Scottish Greens for the controversial Mossmorran plant to close and insisted the site has a future despite years of complaints from those who live close by.
The GMB said it was “staggering” any politician would want the giant chemical complex to wind-down operations at a time of rising unemployment caused by the global pandemic.
In a frank letter sent to its members at Mossmorran last week, the union insisted that much talked-about promises of a transition to a more green economy in Scotland could not be trusted.
Residents in central Fife have complained for years about unscheduled flaring at the chemical plant and their cause has been taken up by Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell.
He last week tabled a motion at the Scottish Parliament calling for a debate on Mossmorran and its future.
In a letter to plant union members, GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith said: “At a time when unemployment is soaring, it is staggering that any politician would be pushing for you to be thrown out of work.
“Of course, politicians will talk about a Just Transition for you as workers at Mossmorrran.
“They say they want you to have jobs in the green economy.
“Well, here’s the reality – last week the energy company SSE announced the biggest windfarm in the world, being built off the Scottish coast, will be fabricated in China.
“Away from the Scottish political bubble there is no green energy jobs revolution.”
He added: “We believe Mossmorran has a future. It needs to operate in the most environmentally sustainable way and the issues concerning flaring must be swiftly resolved in conjunction with the local community.
“But the green fundamentalism promoted by Mark Ruskell won’t deliver a transition on jobs, it will simply end up with you or your colleagues either being displaced or on the dole.”
Ruskell said: “Fife knows all too well the impact that comes when there’s a failure to plan ahead and support workers and communities as industries change and close.
“It’s vital that we don’t repeat the mistakes that came with the end of coal. We must ensure a just transition that leaves no workers behind as we move to new, zero-carbon industries in the coming years.
“I understand that workers who have been let down by generations of politicians are sceptical, that’s why it’s vital that workers and trade unions are at the heart of developing plans for the future.
“It’s a disgrace that the UK and Scottish Governments have allowed renewables contracts to go overseas but that’s why we need to re-double efforts to support an industrial strategy for green energy.”
The Record reported in May that Scottish Government environmental regulators are seeking a prosecution over unscheduled flaring at the chemical plant.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has submitted a report to the crown office over the week of flaring last April.
The flame at the facility burned for six days and prompted 900 complaints- a record for Sepa for a single event.