The privately-held company had reached a deal with the Teamsters, but a smaller union representing bakery workers refused to agree to concessions, prompting the mass layoffs and closing down of hundreds of plants, bakeries and delivery routes. That prompted harsh words from both the company and from Teamsters officials.
“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” Chief Executive Gregory Rayburn said in a statement. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”
The company said it will continue to ship out its well-known products until inventory runs out.
On Thursday, Teamsters officials blasted the smaller union for not seeking a “solution” in the process or to engage in negotiations.
“The BCTGM chose a different path, as is their prerogative, to not substantively look for a solution or engage in the process,” the statement read. “BCTGM members were told there were better solutions than the final offer, although Judge Drain stated in his decision in bankruptcy court that no such solutions exist. Without complete information, BCTGM members voted by voice votes in union halls. The BCTGM reported that over 90 percent rejected the final offer and three of its units ratified the final offer.”
In a letter to employees posted on the company’s website, Rayburn said all employees would eventually lose their jobs, some sooner than others.
Rayburn’s letter read. “As you know, for many months the Company has been working with our unions, lenders and other stakeholders to reach a consensual resolution to legacy costs and labor contracts. Despite everyone’s considerable efforts to move Hostess out of its restructuring, when we began implementing the Company’s last, best and final offer, the Bakers Union chose to stage a crippling strike.”
BCTGM workers began striking at some Hostess production facilities without notifying Teamsters officials on Nov. 9, the Teamsters said.
“This unannounced action put Teamster members in the difficult position of facing picket lines without knowing their right to honor such a line without being disciplined,” the statement continued.
Read more: here.
You know it’s bad when the Teamsters are critical of another union. 18,000 more jobs down the toilet. I hope BCTGM leadership is proud. I hope the workers can quickly find jobs, but, I doubt they will.