WASHINGTON — The International Brotherhood of Teamsters will concentrate on unemployment benefits for its members and look for buyers of assets that may want to employ Teamsters members now that Hostess Brands, Inc. is seeking liquidation, said Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer of the Teamsters, in a Nov. 16 statement.
Hostess Brands, Inc. has ceased production in all its facilities and seeks a hearing in bankruptcy court Nov. 19 to approve its motion to liquidate.
“Hostess’ problems go back almost a decade,” Mr. Hall said. “The company has clearly been mismanaged for quite some time. However, the workers should not suffer because of poor management, and therefore, the Teamsters Union tried everything in its power during the company’s most recent financial difficulties to shape an outcome that would put Hostess on strong footing to be viable and preserve jobs.
“Unfortunately, the company’s operating and financial problems were so severe that it required steep concessions from a variety of stakeholders, but not all stakeholders were willing to be constructive. Teamster Hostess members, based on the facts and advice from respected restructuring advisers, understood what was at stake and voted to protect all jobs at Hostess.”
The Teamsters members in September approved contract modifications that Hostess Brands, Inc. management and lenders required as a condition to bring the company out of bankruptcy again. However, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union ended up going on strike. After a Nov. 15 deadline established by Hostess Brands for the workers to end their strike passed, the company decided to liquidate.
Mr. Hall said the Teamsters will monitor the liquidation process over the coming months and try to ensure that its members are paid what they are owed.“Our hearts and prayers go out to Teamster Hostess members and all Hostess workers who will lose their jobs,” Mr. Hall said. “The timing of the closure could not be worse as we enter the holiday season. We will work with our Teamsters local unions to inform Hostess Teamsters of their rights to receive unemployment.”