Hostess Brands today (19 November) agreed to last-ditch talks with union officials to try to resolve the dispute that has threatened the existence of the US baker.
The company, which owns brands including Twinkies snacks, 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, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) to enter into mediation.
Hostess said its motion to wind up the company had been put back until Wednesday. Production at its 33 plants across the country remains shut down.
On 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.
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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.