Hostess St. Louis bakery closing due to strike
St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - Hostess Brands Inc. is permanently closing its bakeries in St. Louis, Seattle and Cincinnati and laying off more than 600 workers because of a nationwide strike by the Bakers Union.
The strike began Friday, November 9 after Hostess filed bankruptcy, saying it needed to diminish health benefits, freeze pensions and cut wages by eight-percent. Workers at the Hostess Bakery facility in north St. Louis told NewsChannel 5's Steve Patterson they were already coping with cutbacks and planned to hold their picket line as long as possible.
The St. Louis workers joined more than 6,000 members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union going on strike at 36 Hostess plants nationwide.
In a news release, Hostess Brands CEO Gregory Rayburn said the company will close any plant that cannot produce or deliver products because of a work stoppage, adding that even employees who did not participate in the strikes will still be losing their jobs.
Employees think they are being used to scare workers at other plants. Meanwhile, Hostess thinks the Bakers Union is using them to scare other baking companies.
The St. Louis Hostess facility employs 365 people and produces Hostess cakes, Nature's Pride and Wonder breads. The Seattle facility employs 110 people and makes Hostess cake products. The Cincinnati site employs 152 people and produces Butternut, Beefsteak Wonder breads.
Hostess Brands Inc., founded in 1930, is based in Irving, Texas and employs approximately 18,000 people across the country.