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Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have been planning for a Twinkies strike since January, when manufacturer Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy. It has blamed high labor costs. On Tuesday, the probability of such a strike got higher, as the company headed to court.
Hostess Brands has asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York to toss its union contracts. If the company cannot change how it funds union pensions, management claims it will have no choice but to close company doors and liquidate Hostess assets
That would mean no Twinkies. Or Ding Dongs. Or Wonder Bread.
Hostess' biggest creditor is not the Teamsters union, but the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, reports CNNMoney. The company owes the pension fund $994 million. Though its members have no plan to strike, the bakers' union will likely honor the picket line.
Therefore, if the Twinkies strike does occur, it, too, will close down all Hostess operations.
Hostess' request comes after months of failed negotiations. It offered employees a different pension plan, the same health insurance as management, and a pay freeze instead of cuts, according to Bloomberg. Teamsters countered with $150 million in concessions. It wants the company to make more sacrifices.
Unless management agrees to do so, it's unlikely that Hostess Brands will survive into next year. If the union contracts stand, it will need to liquidate. If the union contracts are voided, employees will strike. It will still need to liquidate.
Maybe you should start hoarding Twinkies now.