Baker’s union wants involvement in Hostess re-launch

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

The BCTGM wants its workers to be employed by the new Hostess Brands owners
The BCTGM wants its workers to be employed by the new Hostess Brands owners

Related tags: Hostess brands, Baking

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) says its members should be a part of the newly launched Hostess Brands business given their expertise.

New private equity owners Apollo Group and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co have, so far, decided not to hire back BCTGM workers, leaving the union disgruntled.

The BCTGM was the union involved in strikes in November 2012 that Hostess Brands said contributed to its liquidation. Union members were on strike in retaliation to a pay-cutting deal enforced upon the union that it had earlier rejected.

Back in January 2013 during the bidding for assets after Hostess Brands shut down, the BCTGM said it would support and work with the new owners. It has maintained this stance and has said it wants to work with the Apollo Group and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co – new owners of a majority of Hostess assets, including Twinkies and Ding Dongs.

BCTGM president David B. Durkee is unhappy that workers have not been employed.

“Rather than hire professional, experienced bakers who have produced quality snack cakes in the company’s bakeries for decades, Hostess management has chosen instead to hire primarily workers with little or no experience in the demanding wholesale snack cake baking industry,”​ he said.

The BCTGM is interested in working cooperatively and productively with the new owners, he said.

“We have always maintained that the experience, skill and professionalism of our members offer the new owners, who have no experience in the wholesale snack cake business, the best chance for long-term success in consistently putting out a quality product.”

BCTGM warning: Don’t make the same management mistakes…

Last year’s demise of Hostess was in large due to critical mistakes made by a series of management teams, Durkee said.

“To avoid the same fate, the BCTGM encourages the two private equity firms that own Hostess Brands, LLC to change their approach and work with our Union and our members in a cooperative manner. This is their best hope for long-term success,”​ he said.

We will fight our membership

Back in February, Durkee had said that if BCTGM workers were not re-hired by the new Hostess owners, the union would “continue to fight for our membership through other avenues”.

He explained that broader BCTGM membership could boycott Hostess products, and encourage others to follow suit; whereas if the new owners worked with the union, his members would do everything in their power to promote the brands and ensure they were successful.

Related topics: Bakery, Manufacturers

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