Hostess, union mediation fails

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

Looks like it’ll be a bake sale after all. Hostess Brands Inc. said Tuesday that mediation efforts with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union were about as successful as a Twinkie without the cream filling.

That means Hostess will return to bankruptcy court in White Plains, N.Y., on Wednesday morning to argue its case for liquidating and selling off its assets.

The company “will have no further comment” until then, it said.

– MCT News Service

The failed talks will likely be devastating news to legions of Americans who stockpiled Ding Dongs and Ho Hos over the weekend — after Hostess first said Friday that it was shutting down — only to rejoice when the company agreed Monday to attempt a reconciliation with its union.

Far worse off, however: the more than 18,000 workers who will lose their jobs as Irving, Texas-based Hostess shuts down its operations. The brand was powered by hundreds of distribution centers, bakeries and outlets spread around the country.

The company blamed a strike by BCTGM union members for its decision to shutter; workers who walked off their jobs accused Hostess of boosting executive pay while plundering worker benefits and slashing wages.

The mediation, suggested by Judge Robert Drain, may have been doomed from the start, according to experts. A line of potential buyers has formed in the past few days, among them Hurst Capital and, according to reports, Flowers Foods, Sun Capital Partners and Bimbo Group.

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©2012 Los Angeles Times

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

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