6/5/17 – Officials at Didion say the employees who are out of work because of last week’s deadly explosion at its milling plant will all remain part of their workforce. At a news conference at the Johnson Creek offices of Didion on Friday, Vice President of Operation Derek Clark said the company is in constant contact with employees to keep them updated on the status of their fellow employees and on what is next for the company. Clark says that it is their expectation at this time to do everything in their power to “keep their employees employed.” He says they are not in a position where employees will be losing their job. Clark notes that they have multiple facilities and do a pretty good job on a regular basis of repurposing employees to different locations. The company plans to resume production at some time but Clark says that is the least of their worries at this point as the timeline and specifics remains to be seen. He says assuming there is no impact with the ongoing OSHA investigation, the expectation is that “ethanol production is going to resume at some time in the near future when it is safe and it makes sense.” The milling plant in Cambria is the largest of all Didion sites and employs roughly 200 people. The original facility was construction approximately 25 years ago but other portions have been added over the years. Of the 50 billion gallons of ethanol produced each year, Didion accounts for roughly 50 million gallons. On Friday, company officials identified the workers who lost their lives: Duelle Block, Robert Goodenow; and Pawel Tordoff were killed in the explosion that injured eleven others.
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