On August 30, 2012, the BCTGM International Union and Local 218 (Kansas City, MO) won an organizing campaign at White Energy Gluten Mill in Russell, Kan. Gluten is one of the most critical ingredients in the manufacturing of most bakery and confectionery products. White Energy’s customers include a number of BCTGM-represented baking and confectionery companies like Bimbo, Sara Lee, and Hershey. The workers in the newly organized unit produce wheat gluten.
The facility also produces ethanol, and distills wet and dry grain. Because this area of the country is the largest growing region for milo (grain sorghum), the plant uses approximately 70 percent of milo in lieu of corn. Milo is historically less expensive than corn. White Energy has two additional plants in Hereford and Plainview, Texas.