Only a few weeks ago, Twinkies’ maker announced it was filing for bankruptcy. All Twinkies’ fans worried that the bankruptcy will mean the end of their delicious snacks. But, now that Twinkies’ employees are threatening to strike, the concern becomes a little bit more real.
Hostess Brands, Ho Hos and Wonder Bread employees announced they intend to strike if the company imposes unfair contract terms. About 7,500 union workers have promised to strike if a U.S. bankruptcy judge will grant Hostess Brands’ proposal to reduce wages.
According to a statement released by The Teamsters, members of the union voted by a margin of 9 to 1 to authorize the strike if the company’s proposal is granted by Judge Robert Drain. The bankruptcy plan holds measures such as withdrawal of the pension plans, reducing costs of long term worker benefits as well as updating the terms of its collective bargaining agreements.
The union wrote in the court papers that Hostess Brands “frittered away the value of the BCTGM’s concessions through a series of wasteful business decisions”.
Dennis Raymond, director of the union’s bakery and laundry conference, said: “While we remain committed to finding a solution to save the company, it won’t be done solely on the backs of our members and Hostess employees”.
Raymond also added that the union members are willing to “take significant steps to save the company, they can only go so far”. The Teamsters union added that the key stakeholders should also make sacrifices and employees should get “protections to make sure their sacrifices are not made in vain again due to mismanagement”.
Hostess Brands Inc. has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 at the beginning of January. The company operates 36 bakeries and has about 19,000 people employed. The company reached 80 years of existence with $860 million in debt. The filing read “without relief from their existing CBAs and benefit obligations, there is a substantial likelihood that will rapidly expend all available cash. With no other viable alternative would be forced to liquidate”.
As Reuters points out “while a strike could be detrimental to the company, Hostess said the consequences of keeping its current labor cost structure and just as severe”.