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Hostess, union mediation fails; Twinkies return to chopping block

Hostess says mediation with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union was unsuccessful, and that means it will liquidate or sell off its assets.

November 21, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
  • After mediation efforts with its workers' union failed, Hostess will either liquidate or sell off its assets.
After mediation efforts with its workers' union failed, Hostess… (Brennan Linsley, Associated…)

Looks like it'll be a bake sale after all.

Hostess Brands Inc. said Tuesday that mediation efforts with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union were unsuccessful, and that means the Twinkies maker will either liquidate or sell off its assets. The company will go before a bankruptcy judge in White Plains, N.Y., on Wednesday.

The company said it will have no further comment until after the hearing.

Quiz: How well do you know fast food?

The failed talks will likely be devastating news to legions of Americans who stockpiled Ding Dongs and Ho Ho's after Hostess said Friday that it was shutting down — then rejoiced a few days later when the company agreed to further negotiations with the union.

More than 18,000 workers could lose their jobs as Irving, Texas-based Hostess shuts down operations. The brand was powered by hundreds of distribution centers, bakeries and outlets spread around the country, including in Southern California.

The company blamed a strike by BCTGM union members for its decision to close; workers who walked off their jobs accused Hostess of boosting executive pay while plundering worker benefits and slashing wages.

The mediation, suggested by Judge Robert Drain, may have been doomed from the start, according to experts. A line of potential buyers has formed in the last few days, among them Hurst Capital and, according to reports, Nature's Own parent Flowers Foods, Sun Capital Partners, and Sara Lee and Entenmann's owner Bimbo Group.

tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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