Strike a Deal

Union accepts Aventine offer
By Holly Jessen | December 27, 2010
Union workers at the 160 MMgy Aventine Renewable Energy Inc. ethanol plant in Pekin, Ill., ratified a collective bargaining agreement with Aventine Oct. 29, well before a Nov. 21 deadline. The United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industry and Service Workers International Union represents Aventine's hourly employees at the Pekin plant, about 44 percent of the company's employees. Oct. 12, union workers at the Pekin plant rejected Aventine's "last, best and final offer for a new contract," according to company filings with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. One day before the deadline after a three-week extension, the union and Aventine came to an agreement. "The benefit and base wage packages for the currently covered employees remain substantially similar to those in the previous collective bargaining agreement," says a Nov. 4 SEC filing. "The currently covered employees will also receive lump sum annual payments of $750 in November 2010 and November 2011." Unionization in the ethanol industry is uncommon.