NEXT Renewable Fuels has signed a peace agreement with UFCW 555, agreeing to remain neutral in any future union organizing efforts for operating staff at their planned biofuels manufacturing plant at Port Westward in Columbia County.
“Our biofuels plant cannot be built or operated properly without skilled workers. That’s why we previously agreed to work with regional trade unions for the hiring of union and non-union labor to construct our facility. Our agreement with UFCW 555 extends our commitment to let local unions meet with our future employees to discuss their mutual desire to work together. We know that Oregon’s skilled labor can help us attract the best workers, get the work done properly, and bring benefits to Oregon’s economy and environment,” said Lou Soumas, president, NEXT Renewable Fuels.
“Bringing union jobs to Columbia County is good for the workers, good for the community and good for the tax base. We’re looking forward to a positive partnership with NEXT,” said Jeff Anderson, secretary-treasurer for UFCW 555.
The agreement allows future NEXT plant workers and UFCW representatives to work together during any future organizing and collective bargaining process. Some details from the agreement include:
• NEXT will maintain strict neutrality in connection with union organizing and collective bargaining.
• NEXT will support UFCW’s efforts to hold meetings on site during nonworking hours.
• UFCW 555 will neither coerce nor threaten employees to join the union.
• UFCW 555 will not make comments to disparage NEXT and will not picket on site.
NEXT Renewable Fuels, Oregon is planning an advanced biofuels facility at Port Westward in Columbia County to produce biofuels made from renewable plant feedstock. Initially when the facility opens in 2021, NEXT will produce more than 37,500 barrels/day of advanced biofuels, growing to more than 50,000 barrels/day at full capacity. The facility will produce mostly Advanced Green Diesel, plus a small amount of Renewable Propane and Renewable Naphtha. The facility will only process renewable feedstock and will only produce biofuels; it will not be permitted, designed or built to process or produce any fossil fuels. The facility will not use virgin palm oil for feedstock.
NEXT biofuels will be sold throughout the West Coast. A full life-cycle analysis shows that NEXT biofuels will create emissions savings equal to removing more than 1 million vehicles from the road. These biofuels will help Oregon and the nation meet clean and renewable fuels standards. Once open, the facility will employ more than 200 local skilled workers.
Advanced Green Diesel is a second-generation biofuel, meaning it is a drop-in replacement for fossil fuel-based diesel. While you can blend Advanced Green Diesel with traditional diesel, you don’t have to. Our advanced biofuel can be used in existing energy pipelines, infrastructure and engines without modification and without negative long-term effects. It also burns cleaner than other fuel options.
NEXT is focused on the development and production of second-generation advanced biofuels, including renewable diesel, renewable propane and renewable naphtha to supply contracted off-take agreements for customers in the western United States and Canada. More information at www.NEXTrenewables.com.
About UFCW 555
UFCW 555 is Oregon’s largest private-sector labor union with 25,000 members from a variety of industries and occupations.