18,500 employees, of Hostess Brand Pastries will be leaving their jobs immediately. Hostess also makes the other popular and long time favorite snack Ding Dongs.
Twinkies and Ding Dongs have been the brunt of jokes on TV all week. On the Daily show the humor is Twinkies will be around for years due to their long shelf life. It’s all very clever and urbane but the real untold story is the demise of this 82 year old American icon and it’s battle with the Teamsters Union.
Hostess announced Friday that it is asking a federal bankruptcy court for permission to close its operations, blaming a strike by bakers protesting a new contract. Hostess owns 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide, as well as 570 outlet stores. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union represents about 5,000 Hostess employees.
In September, membership of one of its major unions, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, voted narrowly to accept a new contract with reduced wages and benefits. The Bakers’ union rejected the deal, however, prompting Hostess management to secure permission from a bankruptcy court to force a new concession contract on workers.
The Teamsters union, which represents 6,700 Hostess workers, issued a statement blaming mismanagement by Hostess executives for the company’s problems. But it also was critical of the decision of Bakers’ union, although it did not identify the union by name.
Unable to reach a compromise with the unions addressing new pension requirements, Hostess threw in the towel. – DSMW