California Hostess plant workers picket in support of strike

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Sacramento, CA, United States (4E) – A dozen supporters of an ongoing strike at Hostess plants nationwide joined the picket line in front of the Arden Way facility in Sacramento, California Tuesday morning.

Last Monday, Hostess Brands Inc. announced it would be shutting down three bakeries located in St. Louis, Cincinnati and Seattle, which would affect 627 jobs.

The picket line in Sacramento began Sunday, two days after the walkout when Hostess declared a contract that cut wages by 8 percent.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union said the contract would slice benefits by 27 to 32 percent.

The company has closed three plants across the country because of the ongoing strike.

Gregory Rayburn, chief executive officer, said the company could close entirely if the strike continues.

A union representative told KCRA 3 that the union is hopeful that Hostess will be forced to sell off its plants, including the one in Sacramento “because we want them to liquidate, so another bakery can take over.”

Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, warned of probable layoffs across the country earlier this year, including in the Sacramento region.

The company, which has been undergoing bankruptcy reorganization, said in July that negotiations with the union are still ongoing and that there are no plans to eliminate employees at that time.

Hostess employs nearly 300 workers in Sacramento and about 1,850 in California. It has approximately around 18,300 employees nationwide.

Founded in 1930, Hostess is one of the biggest wholesale bakers and distributors of fresh delivered bread and snack cakes in the United States.

It operates 36 bakeries, with 565 distribution centers and 570 bakery outlet stores throughout the U.S.

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