November 13, 2012

Hostess plant in Biddeford continues strike

By Jessica Hall jhall@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD - Workers at the Hostess Brands plant in Biddeford entered their fourth day of a strike as the maker of Twinkies and Sno Balls shuttered three plants in other states.

Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike as of 5 p.m. on Friday, according to the union's website. The Biddeford plant, which employs about 370 workers, has more than 300 bakery union workers, as well as employees who are members of the Teamsters union.

Biddeford City Manager John Bubier said there were a number of people on the picketing line outside of the Hostess plant on Precourt Street. He declined to comment on what impact the strike, or potential closure of the plant, would have on the town.

Workers at 12 Hostess plants nationally had gone on strike, according to the bakery union's website. A spokeswoman for the bakery union did not immediately return calls seeking comment. The bakery union represents about 5,680 Hostess workers, who account for about 30 percent of the company's total work force.

Irving, Texas-based Hotess on Monday said it would shut plants in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati as a result of the work stoppage. The company said that an extended, widespread strike could force the company to liquidate.

In January, Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Contract concessions were approved by the Teamsters, but 92 percent of the bakery union voted against the contract, which called for an 8 percent wage reduction and reduced health care benefits. Hostess previously filed for bankruptcy in 2004.

 

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