Saturday, March 8, 2014
Diane Stafford / The Kansas City Star
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Twinkies will return to store shelves in July. Four former Hostess snack cake bakeries around the country are scheduled to re-open within eight to 10 weeks.
File photo / The Associated Press
Spokesmen for the national bakery union were unavailable for comment Thursday. Conrad Boos, union representative in Missouri, said many members would like to return to the jobs they knew.
“I don’t think they can stop them from reapplying, but can they discriminate against them because they were union members?” Boos said of the new owners. “It’s hard to say what will happen. But in the end, it’s up to employees if they choose to organize.”
Linda Bartley, union representative in Kansas for the Emporia plant, was not available for comment on Thursday.
Metropoulos said in a news release announcing the Emporia re-opening that the new company already has upgraded some of the bakery facility, and he thanked the state of Kansas and the city of Emporia for being “extremely helpful throughout the redevelopment process.”
Hostess Brands assets were sold piecemeal to bidders in the bankruptcy proceedings.
Flowers Foods, a publicly traded baking company based in Georgia, acquired 20 Hostess bakeries that made bread and buns, including plants in Lenexa and Boonville, Mo.
Flowers has declined to speak publicly about plans for its newly acquired bakeries because of an ongoing antitrust review by federal regulators. Flowers, which already operates 44 U.S. bakeries, expected the review, which could take several more months.
Flowers paid $360 million for the plants and rights to Wonder, Home Pride, Nature’s Pride, Butternut and Merita brands. Its purchases included the Lenexa bakery, where nearly 200 workers formerly made Home Pride and Wonder bread and buns, and the Boonville bakery, where about 90 workers made buns.