Hostess May Liquidate Business Should Bakers’ Union Not Accept New Contract

Hostess Brands said if bakers don’t accept the new contract by end of the day Thursday, the company will have to go into liquidation.

According to Greg Rayburn, Hostess CEO, the company does not have the financial resources to endure the national strike. If liquidation takes place, approximately 18,000 workers will be out of a job. About 5,000 folks are represented by the bakers’ union.  The union claimed the concessions laid out in the new contract were outrageous.

Frank Hurt said its members are striking because they’re had it. They don’t want to take cuts in their benefits along with the other concessions that were made in 2004 and surrender the pensions so Wall Street vulture capitalists controlling the company can make millions of dollars.

In January, Hostess filed for bankruptcy, its second time since 2004. Currently, Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alterative Capital control Hostess.

In September, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters narrowly voted in favor of a new contract that included a decrease in benefits and wages. However, the bakes’ union rejected that deal. This deal rejection led the management to get permission from the bankruptcy court to demand the workers work by the terms laid out in the new contract.

On Monday, Hostess announced it was closing bakeries in Cincinnati, Seattle and St. Louis – a loss of 627 jobs. The strike affects 24 of the company’s 33 plants. According to the union, Hostess was already planning on shuttering the three bakeries and accused the company of making erroneous public statements.

Hostess said it had first planned to close or sell nine plants per the previous reorganization plan. However, those plans were put on hold.

The new contract decreases salaries for workers by eight percent during the first year of the five-year agreement. They then increase three percent in the following three years and one percent in the last year. Hostess would decrease its obligations for pensions and employee health care plan. The company would offer various concessions like a 25 percent equity stake for its workers and include two union representatives on its board of directors.

Should Hostess go into liquidation, highly popular brands – Ding Dongs, Twinkies and Wonder Bread – are likely to get picked up at auction and produced by other companies.

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Posted by on Nov 15 2012. Filed under Business, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Comments for “Hostess May Liquidate Business Should Bakers’ Union Not Accept New Contract”

  1. Every company and organization in America should fire every single union worker. Period. Complete and total reboot.

    Unions started out to meet a real need: protect the worker from thugs. Now the unions are the thugs, and we need to protect America from them.

  2. While I realize these workers don’t want to lose part of their benefits, I wonder how they will feel if they lose their jobs? Do these people realize they will be out among 18,000 workers looking for work? They really need to think of that number: EIGHTEEN THOUSAND PEOPLE! Not just competing for a place in a company that may not offer as good of benefits that they already have but also competing for salaries/pay. So if you work for hostess, and feel you can’t make it without those cuts, then feel free to walk and lose your job and get in line with alot of other americans at local food banks and long unemployment lines while you try to manage on 300.00 a month in food stamps. You think you have or will have it so bad? Try living those footsteps then you may have another prospective.

  3. It became a simple numbers game for both sides. The hedge funds that bought hostess two bankruptcies ago decided their capital was better invested somewhere else, and the union determined that accepting this deal would hurt every member at every competitor during future contract negotiations ( 82k workers losing retirement and healthcare vs 18k temporary unemployed ) When the hedge funds do sell their ownership of the iconic brands and the facilities custom designed to make them, most of those jobs will come back, just like they did when hostess was sold off in 2004.

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