Workers at more than 20 Hostess plants
have gone on strike after overwhelmingly rejecting
the company's demands for major wage and benefits concessions. In response, Hostess is claiming that it may have to close plants because of the strike. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers union has a convincing argument that's a lie
In fact, according to the company’s 1113 filing with the bankruptcy court earlier this year as well as its last/best/final and non-negotiable proposal to its BCTGM-represented workers, the company was planning to close at least nine bakeries as part of its reorganization plan, although the company refused to disclose which bakeries it intended to close. This is in addition to the three bakeries that were to be closed as a result of the company’s planned sale of its Merita division.
Moreover, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was quoted in a November 13 KMOX-CBS St. Louis article stating, “I was told months ago they were planning on closing the site in St. Louis… And there was no indication at that time it had anything to do with the strike the workers were waging.”
Hostess is in bankruptcy for the second time in recent years. Workers took concessions just a few years ago and this year the company has stopped making its contractually obligated contributions to their pensions. Meanwhile, according to the union, the company's CEO got a 300 percent raise, from $750,000 to $2,250,000, while other top executives got raises of hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. Hostess may have problems, but, like the possible plant closings, they don't come from what the rank and file workers have done.