Amid all the confusion and counter-arguments of the Grangemouth crisis - particularly over whether the petrochemical complex is losing money or making it - there have been a few certainties.
One of them is how important the site is to the energy economy of Scotland and the UK. Another is how frustrating and worrying the crisis has been for the workers. This week's pictures of the shattered staff in their distinctive orange overalls were upsetting to see.
Yesterday, those pictures were replaced by the sight of Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, announcing that the union would be accepting the survival plan proposed by the owners Ineos. "The company has put down an ultimatum and we have to respond," said Mr McCluskey. "It is not how we engage in modern-day industrial relations."
Mr McCluskey may be right about that - as he pointed out, Unite negotiates with thousands of companies all over the country, but from the start Ineos has refused to compromise. There has also been suspicion around the claim Grangemouth loses £10 million a month. The problem is that the complex nature of this private equity company with operations all over the world makes it almost impossible to get to the truth.
What we do know is that Ineos was not bluffing over its threat to close the plant, and the fact it has been prepared to act on the threat suggests there may be truth in its claims about the financial viability of the site. We also know that, harsh as the behaviour of Ineos has been, Unite also has to look at its role in this developing crisis.
From the beginning, the union was not prepared to accept a pay freeze and an end to final-salary pensions, but was this really a viable position? In other companies across the country, millions of workers have had to accept similar changes rather than lose their jobs - it is one of the reasons there has been no catastrophic rise in unemployment. As this newspaper pointed out yesterday, some observers will have been surprised to learn a final-salary pension scheme still existed at Grangemouth.
It should have struck the union long before now that this position on pensions and pay was unsustainable. The salaries of many of the staff at Grangemouth are relatively generous and the union's uncompromising attempt to maintain them, combined with the intransigence of the company, helped deepen the crisis. As Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said yesterday, it is right that Unite was fighting for its members' jobs and livelihoods, but he was also right to say Grangemouth is a national asset and must be protected. It is to the union's credit that it has, at the risk of a loss of face, changed its position.
The critical question now is: what next? John Swinney, the Finance Secretary, and Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish Secretary, seemed positive when they emerged from talks at Grangemouth even though there is a limit to what they can do. Both of them know closure of the plant is unthinkable politically but, more importantly, it is unthinkable economically. Now that Unite has compromised, the pressure is back on Ineos. The company has proved it is capable of acting in a brutal and heavy-handed manner; now it must prove it can respond, with fairness and clarity, to the union's sacrifice.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.