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Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Wonder bread and Twinkies, said it will shut down and liquidate unless enough members of its striking bakery workers’ union return to work today to resume normal operations.
The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike Nov. 9 after a bankruptcy judge in White Plains, New York, imposed contract concessions that 92 percent of the union’s workers rejected.
The bakery union president issued a statement repeating earlier demands.
“I am sure that our members would be agreeable to return to work as soon as the company rescinds the implementation of the horrendous wage and benefit reductions, including pension, and the restoration of the cuts that have already taken place,” Union President Frank Hurt said.
Hostess closed three of its 36 plants permanently Nov. 12, blaming the strike. About 13 plants are operating “unsustainably” because of worker shortages, Hostess’s Rayburn said. The bakers’ union has “made no demands, and in fact they stopped returning our calls about a month ago,” he said.
Founded in 1930 and based in Irving, Texas, the Company’s products include iconic brands such as Hostess®, Wonder®, Nature's Pride®, Dolly Madison®, Drake's®, Butternut®, Home Pride® and Merita®. Hostess Brands has approximately 17,780 employees and operates 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores throughout the United States.
“We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, the Company’s Chairman and CEO. “Therefore, if sufficient employees do not return to work by 5 p.m., EST, on Thursday to restore normal operations, we will be forced to immediately move to liquidate the entire Company, which will result in the loss of nearly 18,000 jobs. It is now up to Hostess’ BCTGM represented employees and Frank Hurt, their international president, to decide if they want to call off the strike and save this Company, or cause massive financial harm to thousands of employees and their families.”
Hostess Says It Will Liquidate If Strikers Don’t Return
By Dawn McCarty and Bill Rochelle on November 15, 2012, Bloomberg News
Hostess to Liquidate if Strikes Impede Normal Operations Past 5 p.m., EST, Thursday
November 14, 2012