Unions and Factories and Manufacturers and Food manufacturers and Labor and Manufacturing & Technology

Hostess: Firm to liquidate unless workers return Thursday

November 14, 2012

Hostess Brands Inc. says it will file for liquidation unless its unionized employees in Indiana and across the nation return to work by 5 p.m. Thursday.

The maker of Wonder bread and Twinkies said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that it did not have the financial resources to survive the ongoing strike by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union.

“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 CEO Gregory Rayburn said in a prepared statement.

BCTGM’s 436 members working at Hostess’ Indianapolis and Columbus plants have joined in nationwide pickets that began Nov. 9.

The company employs 288 in Indianapolis, 212 of them BCTGM members.

Irving, Texas-based Hostess this week closed plants in Cincinnati, St. Louis and Seattle and threatened additional shutdowns.

As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, the company proposed labor contracts with pay cuts.

The union has called the proposed pact the “unilateral imposition of a horrendous contract,” and 92 percent of the membership rejected the offer.

Hostess intends to file a motion Nov. 16 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court requesting a hearing for Nov. 19. At the hearing, the company intends to ask permission to sell its assets and lay of 18,000 employees, including the 856 in Indiana.

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