US: Hostess, union mediation talks fail

By Michelle Russell | 21 November 2012

Hostess said that mediation had taken place and was “unsuccessful”

Hostess said that mediation had taken place and was “unsuccessful”

Hostess Brands has said last-ditch talks with union officials to try to resolve the dispute that has threatened the existence of the US baker have been "unsuccessful".

The company, which owns brands including Twinkies, was set to ask for court approval to wind up the business after a national strike it said had "crippled" the company.

However, Hostess said the bankruptcy court set to hear its request to liquidate the business had asked for the company and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) to enter into mediation.

In a statement last night (20 November), Hostess said mediation had taken place but was "unsuccessful".

"The company will have no further comment until a hearing scheduled for tomorrow at 11am EST, before the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York." it said.

Last Friday, the company had announced plans to wind up the business after a national strike by workers protesting against plans to cut pay and benefits.

BCTGM members had gone on strike to protest against an 8% cut in pay and the loss of benefits that, the union said, would reduce workers incomes by around 30%. The BCTGM union represented around one-third of Hostess's 18,000 workers.

Hostess said the industrial action "crippled" its ability to manufacture and deliver products at multiple facilities and had forced it to wind up the business.

Union officials have insisted the failure of successive managers and owners - and not the workforce's decision to launch strike action - was the reason for the company's woes.

Sectors: Bakery

Companies: Hostess Brands

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