Hostess Brands: We Won't Shun Union Applicants
April 30, 2013
Hostess Brands, which is hiring for several bakeries, including one in
Columbus, emphasized Monday that it will not discriminate against applicants on
the basis of union membership or activities.
The strident effort to clear the air on its hiring plans followed comments last
week by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dean Metropoulos, who suggested the
company would be staffing plants with non-union labor.
Under the headline "New Twinkie Maker Shuns Union," Metropoulos reportedly told
The Wall Street Journal that the company does "not expect to be involved in the
union going forward."
In a statement Monday, Hostess Brands said it "intends to hire the most
qualified applicants, regardless of their age, race, gender, or prior or current
union affiliation." It added that "none of the company representatives stated or
intended to imply that Hostess will be avoiding union-represented employees or
When it filed for bankruptcy last year, the former Hostess Brands blamed the
bakers union for forcing it out of business. The company was able to reach a new
contract agreement with its largest union, the Teamsters, but the Bakery,
Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union rejected the
terms and went on strike Nov. 9. A week later, Hostess announced plans to
liquidate, saying the strike crippled its ability to maintain normal production.
David Durkee, international president of the bakers union, said he was
"extremely disappointed" in the recent comments about union employees. "Ideally,
we would like to see as many of our members hired as possible," Durkee said in a
statement. "Our members are eager and willing to return to these snack plants
and help usher in a new period of prosperity for Hostess snack cakes."
In March, Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. purchased assets of
Hostess, which was in bankruptcy. Apollo and Metropoulos agreed to pay $410
million for the Hostess and Dolly Madison brands, five bakeries and equipment.
The buyers retained the "Hostess Brands" name in creating a new company.
Last week, the new owners of Hostess Brands said they plan to reopen the
company's Columbus plant this summer and eventually employ more than 300
workers. The company held a job fair over the weekend. It is initially
recruiting for 200 positions in production, sanitation, distribution,
maintenance engineering and management, and it will add more than 100 workers in
the years to come.
The company is also opening bakeries in Emporia, Kan.; Indianapolis; and
Schiller Park, Ill.
Source: (c)2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) Distributed by MCT Information Services