ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Hostess is permanently closing three bakeries following a nationwide strike by its bakers union. That includes one in St. Louis.
Workers at the north St. Louis plant have been out on strike since Friday, and continued to stand outside their workplace through Monday evening, despite the news that the plant will close. Workers say they’ll stay there until they’re notified in writing. Plus, the closing is not surprising to many employees, since they say Hostess has supposedly talked about closing several plants for a while now.
The maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs has faced some serious financial trouble lately, filing for bankruptcy twice.
Hostess executives warned the company couldn’t handle the pause in production from the strike.
The Irvine, Texas-based Hostess Brands released the following statement: “We know the concessions are tough, but it would make more sense for unhappy employees to simply leave the company voluntarily than to strike and cause the company to close down, forcing everyone to lose their jobs.”
Still, the company’s financial woes do not make diminishing benefits, and now being jobless, any easier for workers to stomach.
Hostess employee Irene Jeffery says, “I’m mad because they try to take everything from us, and they really ain’t doing nothing for us. They take, take, take and they’ve been doing that for years, since we’ve been here. And we’re tired of it, and that’s why we’re out here. And if they close the bakery, if that’s what they want to do, then do it. God’s on my side and I’m gonna do what I gotta do.”
Workers say they went on strike over wage and benefit cuts, the company’s lack of contribution to worker pensions, and longer work days.
There are 627 people employed at the St. Louis, Cincinnati and Seattle plants announced for closure. Hostess employs more than 18,000 employees in total.