Union issues response to Journal article

by Josh Sosland
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KENSINGTON, MD. — While “pleased” to see the pending reopening of snack cake plants formerly run by Hostess Brands, Inc., the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union is “extremely disappointed to see negative statements about the union status of its future employees,” said David B. Durkee, president of the B.C.T.G.M.  Mr. Durkee was responding to an article published in The Wall Street Journal in which C. Dean Metropoulos will not hire union workers when reopening the plants. Mr. Durkee’s complete statement on behalf of the union follows:

The B.C.T.G.M. is pleased to see that Hostess Brands L.L.C., the newly formed snack cake company created by Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co., has announced that it will be reopening four Hostess bakeries to produce the iconic Hostess cake brands. Those four successful cake plants were represented by the B.C.T.G.M. for many years under former Hostess ownership.

However, we are extremely disappointed to see negative statements from company executives about the union status of its future employees. Ideally, we would like to see as many of our members hired as possible. We believe their combination of experience, dedication and know-how will give the new owners the chance to get high quality snack cakes back in the marketplace.

Federal labor law governing the hiring process and the obligations for the employer and the rights of the future employees in this situation is quite definitive. We expect that the new owners will respect the statutory rights of all workers during the hiring, startup and future of this new company.

The B.C.T.G.M. remains focused on ensuring that the new Hostess Brands ownership understands that the snack cakes at the center of this new company are inextricably linked to the hands that make them — and have made them for generations. We know that our workers have a critical role to play in protecting and enhancing some of America’s most valuable consumer brands. We all want the same outcome: that the brands should prosper and endure. This is what the next stage of this saga is all about — implementing a new ownership and manufacturing structure worthy of the brands themselves and America’s manufacturing prowess. 

Our members provide immense value to the new ownership with decades of experience, expertise and training.  Not only have our members produced these quality products for consumers for generations, they know these bakeries inside and out.  Our members are eager and willing to return to these snack plants and help usher in a new period of prosperity for Hostess snack cakes.

It is our sincere hope that the new owners will fully recognize the tremendous value of hiring back our members.  If, however, they do not want us as part of the future of this company, we will continue to fight for our membership through other avenues.
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By Mike 5/4/2013 8:28:50 AM
As a 35 year member of the Teamsters I say to "You" the leadership of the B.C.T.G.M. can go choke on a Twinkie. Your poor leadership cost all of us a job. Thanks alot Jerk!

By T. Davis 4/30/2013 3:40:58 PM
The new owners very likely will want to hire the old employees, but not with the BCTGM dragging them down again