Majority of workers set to reject Ineos Grangemouth offer-union
* Deadline for workers to accept new terms 1700 GMT
* Around 300 of 1,400 workers have so far accepted terms-union
By Simon Falush
LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) - A majority of workers at the Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical plant in Scotland will reject the offer of reduced terms and conditions from the plant's operator Ineos, the Unite union said on Monday.
"I've been told that only around 300 people so far have accepted the company's offer, which is just around one in five of the workforce so it's a very small amount," Pat Rafferty, Scottish secretary of Unite, Britain's largest union told Reuters.
Ineos said over the weekend that 250 had accepted the new terms and conditions.
The company declined to give an update on how many of the roughly 1,400 staff had so far agreed to the package, which involves reduced pension provision, and said it would give no further update until after the 1700 GMT deadline.
Swiss-based Ineos said last week it had closed the 210,000 barrel per day refinery and petrochemicals complex pending an outcome to the dispute.
PetroChina owns half of the refinery, which Ineos operates. Ineos owns 100 percent of the attached petrochemical plant.
The future of the refinery is being closely watched as it supplies most of the fuel for Scotland and provides steam and power to BP's Kinneil oil terminal, which processes North Sea crude that comes ashore via the Forties Pipeline System.
A permanent shutdown could herald a new wave of closures in the sector as the industry battles rising competition from new plants in Asia and the Middle East and falling domestic demand.
Tom Crotty, an Ineos director, said that it was not necessarily looking for a simple majority of workers to agree to the new terms.
"There's no number we have in mind, it's a subjective view, and it doesn't necessarily involve how many accept it, but who does, and whether we can run the plant on the basis of those who are on board," Crotty said.
Closure of the plant, which provides most of the fuel to Scotland and upon which thousands of jobs are dependent, could have a big impact on Scotland's economy.
Michael Connarty, the local Labour MP, said: "I don't think they're looking to close the refinery, but if they shut the refinery it would be a death blow to a lot of the Scottish economy."
Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, said he had held extensive talks with Ineos and Unite on Thursday night looking for common ground.
"What I think should happen is that Unite should give a no-strike, without strings, guarantee," he said.
"Once that's done, Ineos should fire up the plant and the various discussions, negotiations, and consultations on terms and conditions should take place against the background of a working plant, not a plant that's lying cold."
The opposition Labour party has said that Ineos should take the ultimatum on terms and conditions off the table before negotiations start again.
Ineos management will meet from Tuesday morning, and a decision on the future of the plant would be made shortly after that, Crotty said, without being specific on timing.
"It will take as long as it needs but we'll not sit around for days, the refinery is losing around 2 million pounds per day, so we need to resolve it," he said.
Crotty said that the plant could be fully up and running within two weeks of any agreement to get the plant started.
The union has said it cannot talk until the ultimatum on pensions has been withdrawn, and the company said it will not talk until all threat of strike action has been removed.
Unite has said it would remove all threat of strike action until at least the new year, but that it could not do this until Ineos's "survival plan", was taken off the table.
Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe said to the Sunday Times that the company was not bluffing in its plan to close the plan unless workers agree to the cuts in terms and conditions.