Hostess’ biggest union OKs new contract terms

Workers belonging to Hostess Brands’ biggest union Friday narrowly approved new contract terms, raising the possibility that the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread will stay in business.

But another group of employees rejected the contract terms that Hostess says are needed for it to survive.

The privately held company based in Irving, Texas, is working to exit bankruptcy protection, which it sought in January. Its business has been hammered by consumers’ increased preference for healthier snacks, and stiff competition from other sweets makers.

Hostess said it will go to bankruptcy court seeking to force terms of the deal reached with Teamsters on workers represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union and other smaller bargaining units.

More than 4,400 Teamster-represented workers voted, with 2,357 approving a tentative contract and 2,043 against it.

“This was a difficult decision,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall. “At the end of the day, our members recognized that they can’t replace their pay and benefits in the nonunion sector.”

The company, founded in 1930, has about 18,500 employees.

Hostess Brands operates a bakery in Biddeford.


FBI arrests American man in phony car bomb sting

Undercover FBI agents arrested an 18-year-old American man who tried to detonate what he believed was a car bomb outside a downtown Chicago bar, federal prosecutors said Saturday.

Adel Daoud, a U.S. citizen from the Chicago suburb of Hillside, was arrested Friday night in an undercover operation in which agents pretending to be extremists provided him with a phony car bomb.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago announced the arrest Saturday and said the device was inert and that the public was never at risk.

Daoud is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to damage and destroy a building with an explosive.

The FBI began monitoring him after he allegedly posted material online about violent jihad and the killing of Americans, federal prosecutors said.