On the first business day after bakers went on strike against Hostess Brands, the Irving-based company said Monday it will permanently close three striking bakeries, putting 627 employees out of work.
Late Friday, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike against Irving-based Hostess to protest cuts and give-backs in the company’s last, best, final contract offer. The contract, which was rejected by 92 percent of the union members who voted, called, in part, for 8 percent pay cuts, a company hiatus from contributions to a multi-employer pension plan and changes in work rules.
As of Monday, bakers had set up picket lines at about 23 of the 36 bakeries and production plants operated by the bankrupt snack maker. Hostess said the strike “has prevented the facilities from producing and delivering products.”
“Our customers will not be affected because we will continue to serve them from other Hostess Brands bakeries, but sadly this action will result in the permanent closure of three facilities and the loss of 627 jobs,” said Gregory Rayburn, Hostess Brands’ chief executive.
“We deeply regret this decision, but we have repeatedly explained that we will close facilities that are no longer able to produce and deliver products because of a work stoppage — and that we will close the entire company if widespread strikes cripple our business.”
The bakeries to be closed immediately are in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati. The Seattle facility employs 110 people and produces Hostess cake products. The St. Louis facility employs 365 people and produces Hostess cakes and Nature’s Pride and Wonder breads.