Thursday, June 20, 2013
The Teamsters said it cannot endorse the "final" contract proposal from bankrupt Hostess Brands, but warned members that rejecting it would likely result in the loss of their jobs.
Hostess, which employees 505 workers in Maine, did not immediately return calls seeking comment. The company's biggest facility in Maine is in Biddeford, where it operates a bakery and distribution center with about 370 workers. In total, it has about 19,000 employees in 48 states.
Hostess, the maker of Twinkies and Sno Ball cakes, is struggling to emerge from its second bankruptcy in a decade. The Irving, Texas-based company gave the Teamsters its "last, best and final" contract proposal, the terms of which were not disclosed.
"We recognize there is no desirable choice – this is one of the most difficult circumstances we've encountered," the Teamsters said in statement on their website.
"We are not and cannot endorse the company's final offer," said Teamster General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall. "But given that the likely consequence of rejecting it outright means the loss of your jobs, it is our duty to inform you ... and to let you vote on your future and the future of Hostess."
Last week, the New York Post reported that Hostess' contract proposal called for a 5 percent wage cut in the first year, as well as health-care benefit cuts and lower pension contributions.