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Archbishop urges prayers for Grangemouth workers

The Catholic Archbishop in the diocese where the Grangemouth plant is situated is urging all those in a position of influence to work towards fair outcomes for employees.

Canon Leo Cushley is also calling for prayers for all those affected by the threatened closure. The oil refinery and petrochemical plant is in the St Mungo's St Ninian's deanery of the Archdiocese of St. Andrews Edinburgh.

Archbishop Leo Cushley said:

"I would ask the people and clergy of the Archdiocese to pray and support those affected by this crisis, and those in a position to influence positively a path that will lead to fair outcomes and long term employment for the families and communities that are already struggling in the current economic climate."

The union at the centre of the Grangemouth Refinery crisis is now backing a survival plan aimed at preventing the site's closure. Unite's leader says he's working to persuade owners Ineos to reverse a decision to close the petrochemical part of the complex near Falkirk. The development follows a meeting at the site between union shop stewards and Unite's general secretary Len McCluskey.

In a statement being sent to all parishes in the Archdiocese this weekend, the Archbishop also draws attention to recent comments by Pope Francis on the importance of work for individuals and communities and the responsibility of those in public office to encourage growth in opportunities for fair and equitable employment.

Speaking in May 2013, the Pope said:

"Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person. Work, to use a metaphor, "anoints" us with dignity, it gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one's family, to contribute to the growth of one's own nation.

"I am thinking of how many, and not only young people, are unemployed, often due to a purely economic conception of society, which seeks profit selfishly, beyond the parameters of social justice. 

"I wish to extend an invitation to solidarity to everyone, and I would like to encourage those in public office to make every effort to give new impetus to employment, this means caring for the dignity of the person, but above all I would say do not lose hope."

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