UPDATE: Just after 1 p.m., Hostess Brands Inc. wrote on their strike info website that Bakers Union leaders appeared to be "willing to sacrifice Hostess Brands employees for the sake of preventing other bakery companies from asking for similar concessions."
Strikers have three and a half hours to return to work, or the company has threatened to file a motion to liquidate the company.
ORIGINAL REPORT: At 5 p.m. today, Nov. 15, Hostess Brands Inc. has said they will move to shutdown the entire company if striking workers do not return to normal operations.
After voting down a contract that would have cut employee wages and benefits by 27-32 percent , The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) initiated a widespread strike last Friday, affecting Hostess bakeries in Northwood and across the U.S.
But Hostess Brands CEO announced Wednesday that the company did not have "the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike," and said they would move to liquidate the company with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court if the picketing continued past Thursday evening.
The Bakers Union shot back on Thursday, saying Hostess workers have no responsibility for the failure of the company.
"The crisis facing Hostess Brands is the result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement that resulted in two bankruptcies, mountains of debt, declining sales and lost market share. The Wall Street investors who took over the company after the last bankruptcy attempted to resolve the mess by attacking the companyâ??s most valuable asset â?? its workers," said BCTGM International Union President Frank Hurt.
Hurt claims the former CEO of Hostess was "awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000)" while the company was preparing to file for bankruptcy earlier this year. He also said at least nine other top executives of the company received pay raises, including one from $500,000 to $900,000 and another reportedly went from $375,000 to $656,256.
According to the company's strike information website, Hostess will file a motion on Friday requesting to wind-down the company and sell all of its assets. A hearing on the motion was also requested for Monday. If the motion is granted at this hearing, Hostess Brands says it will begin to close all of its operations as early as Tuesday, Nov. 20. The closures will include the termination of all 18,000 employees except small, temporary crews to clean, secure and prepare facilities and other assets for sale.
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