Twinkies maker Hostess Brands closing 3 bakeries after strike

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Hostess Brands Inc. is permanently closing three bakeries after a nationwide strike by its bakers union.

The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread said Monday that the strike has prevented it from producing and delivering products, and it is closing bakeries in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati. The facilities employ 627 workers.

Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, operates 36 bakeries nationwide and has about 18,300 employees. It warned earlier this month that the strike by about 30 percent of its workforce could lead to bakery closures.

“We deeply regret this decision, but we have repeatedly explained that we will close facilities that are no longer able to produce and deliver products because of a work stoppage – and that we will close the entire company if widespread strikes cripple our business,” CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said.

Hostess said customers will not be affected by the closures.

A representative for the union could not be reached immediately for comment.

Thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike Nov. 9 to protest cuts to wages and benefits under a new contract offer, which the union rejected in September. Union officials say the company stopped contributing to workers’ pensions last year.

Hostess has argued that workers must make concessions as it tries to improve its financial position. The privately-held food maker filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than a decade. Hostess cited increasing pension and medical costs as one of the drivers behind the filing.

The company, founded in 1930, is fighting battles beyond labor costs. Competition is increasing in the snack space, and Amer­icans are increasingly conscious about healthy eating.

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Gage Creed
Gage Creed 11/12/12 - 11:48 pm
Sounds like Mr. Rayburn would

Sounds like Mr. Rayburn would appreciate Hemingway's Robert Jordan....

patriotgirl 11/13/12 - 02:28 am
Good-bye jobs...

And the union strikes out! This will be the future for many union workers.

Radwaste 11/13/12 - 06:14 am
Not a surprise...

At the same time The IBEW is on the air advertising how wonderful it is, electrical workers from around the nation arriving in New England were told to go home if they weren't union. Restoring power after Sandy was not important enough to let non-union work happen.

DanK 11/13/12 - 12:50 pm
Good plan

Rather than pay Americans a real wage with real benefits, better to just close the plants and move production offshore where labor is cheap.

Riverman1 11/13/12 - 03:12 pm
Move everything to nonunion

Move everything to nonunion facilities is the solution. It's hard to move bakeries overseas because of shipping times and so on. What do the unions not get? The company has already gone bankrupt due to labor costs.

specialist 11/13/12 - 08:58 pm

Happiness is all 50 states being "right to work states"' Unions have pretty well drove our country into a mere "service only" economy.
We basically do not have any production ability left,, and what we do
have is under pressure from radical unions. Run em all off........

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