Hundreds of jobs could be scrapped at Grangemouth oil refinery as "loyal staff pay a huge price", according to trade union Unite.

The organisation claimed refinery owner Ineos, the US chemical giant, intends to close five sections at the Scottish site, resulting in the loss of 200 jobs.

In particular, the union said four of the sections planned for closure are part of the plant's petrochemical operation.

The news follows an industrial spat in October between the union and the company, which saw Grangemouth close and then reopen.

"Loyal staff are paying a huge price with their livelihoods and terms and conditions to save Grangemouth," said Pat Rafferty, Unite regional secretary.

He added: "as the consultation over [the survival] plan comes to an end it is becoming apparent that part of the massive price workers will pay includes huge cuts in redundancy terms that come into effect from 1 January, 2014.

"Many will view this as a move by Ineos to sack loyal workers on the cheap. Ineos needs to come clean over job losses, the time-scales involved and provide assurances to the workforce this Christmas."

But Ineos said it will make Grangemouth profitable by completing a £300m ($491m, €362m) investment programme, which will see the firm deliver shale-derived gas to the Scottish site in 2016.

Ineos had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.