Coming Soon: Union Free Twinkies
If you are like me, you were disappointed to see Hostess, a company with a great history, go down in flames and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
But now the company, famous for Twinkies and HoHos, have new owners, and a new outlook on how to do business. Unfortunately for those union workers who lost their jobs when Hostess shutdown, it looks like their chances of getting their old jobs back are fairly slim.
The company that bought the Twinkie, HoHo and
Ding Dong brands won't be using union labor. Hostess Brands LLC—Metropoulos
& Co. and Apollo
Global Management LLC's new incarnation of the baking company—is
reopening four bakeries in the next eight to 10 weeks, aiming to get consumers
the classic snack cakes starting in July. Chief Executive C. Dean Metropoulos
said the company will aim to hire at least 1,500 workers. But they won't be
represented by unions, including the one whose nationwide strike sparked the
86-year-old company's decision to shut down in November. "We do not expect
to be involved in the union going forward," Mr. Metropoulos said in an
interview Wednesday. In February, before the $410 million sale to Metropoulos
and Apollo was finalized, the president of the bakers union expressed
confidence that his thousands of out-of-work members would find opportunity at
the Hostess facilities once they were reopened by their new owners. President
David Durkee said the strike had left the union in "a position of
strength," and he expressed confidence its workers would get a better deal
from the new owners than Hostess offered during the bankruptcy case, its second
in recent years. He added that the only way to have a "seamless
restart" would be to hire back unionized bakers. "Only our members
know how to get that equipment running," Mr. Durkee said. "A work
force off the street will not be able to accomplish that." But Mr.
Metropoulos and his son, Daren, who is also heading up the reborn Hostess's
marketing strategy, expressed confidence they would be able to find skilled,
nonunion workers near the four plants, which are in areas with high
unemployment. "We're trying to find the most qualified people in these
local markets to come work for the company," Daren Metropoulos said. The
new Hostess is firing up plants in Columbus, Ga.; Emporia, Kan.; Schiller Park,
Ill.; and Indianapolis, Ind. It's also considering whether to reopen a fifth
plant it purchased, in Los Angeles.
You know what I think of the union thugs and their tactics. Props and kudos to the new owners of Hostess for taking a stand!