Hostess, union mediation ‘unsuccessful’

by Eric Schroeder
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IRVING, TEXAS — A mediation held yesterday between Hostess Brands, Inc. and the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (B.C.T.G.M.) was deemed “unsuccessful.” The groups, at the request of Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, met to discuss Hostess’ last, best and final offer designed to lower costs so that the company could attract new financing and emerge from Chapter 11.

The mediation was viewed as a last ditch effort to end a B.C.T.G.M. strike against Hostess plants, restart bakery production at the company and avert the liquidation of Hostess assets, an action expected to result in the loss of many or even most of the 18,000-plus jobs at the company.

Hostess said it will have no further comment until a hearing scheduled for today at 11 a.m., E.S.T., before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

But Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer of The Teamsters, Hostess’ largest union, issued the following statement:

“Unfortunately, the last minute mediation efforts by Judge Drain were not successful. The case will proceed tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the judge hearing Hostess Brands motion to ‘wind down’ the company. Judge Drain may rule from the bench tomorrow on the motion.

“As we said on Friday when the company announced it was closing, this is a tragic outcome and our thoughts and prayers go out to all Teamster Hostess members and all Hostess employees.”

The B.C.T.G.M. did not comment on the mediation proceedings.
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