It’s a tragic day for thousands of Teamster members employed by Hostess, and their families as the company announced this morning that it would cease operations and begin the liquidation process of its 82-year-old bakery business.
All 18,000 workers across the country, including 120 Teamsters in Washington State and 6,700 Teamsters nationwide, will lose their jobs.
The Teamsters Union worked hard to prevent the closure of Hostess and to preserve jobs. The IBT has been in negotiations with Hostess for over 18 months in an effort to find a viable solution to the company’s financial woes.
Earlier this year, Teamster members voted to accept an agreement that included concessions in wages, pension, and health and welfare in order to protect jobs and keep the company afloat.
But in the end, Hostess was unable to achieve a deal with all of its stakeholders.
The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) began a strike at many of the company’s production facilities on November 9. On Nov. 14, Hostess indicated that it would have to liquidate company assets if it couldn’t resume normal operations by a Nov. 15 deadline.
When that deadline passed without an end to the strike, Hostess announced its intention to move ahead with the liquidation process. The company will be headed into bankruptcy court on Monday seeking approval of its plans to liquidate.
Nearly a decade of mismanagement, corporate looting, and a failure to innovate and reinvent itself ultimately led to the company’s demise. Teamsters and the other Hostess employees, many of whom dedicated a lifetime to the company, are left to suffer the consequences.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to Teamster Hostess members and all Hostess workers who will lose their jobs. The timing of the closure could not be worse as we enter the holiday season. We will work with our Teamster Local Unions to inform Hostess Teamsters of their rights to receive unemployment.
“Additionally, we will try to shape the process by looking for buyers of individual assets that may want to employ Teamster members with industry experience. Updates of the liquidation and sale process will continue to be posted on www.teamster.org/hostess,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall.