Monday, February 13, 2012

Teamsters vote to strike Hostess, depending on bankruptcy court

Whoa! More than 90 percent of Hostess Teamsters voted to authorize a strike if the bankrtupcy court lets the company impose unfair contract terms.

According to the press release:
Teamster local unions that comprise the national bargaining unit for more than 7,500 Hostess employees conducted strike authorization votes during the past 10 days. A majority of the members participated in the overwhelming strike vote.
Dennis Raymond, director of the Bakery and Laundry Conference, said,
This vote shows that, while our Hostess members are willing to take significant steps to save the company, they can only go so far. Twice before, they have made sacrifices to help this company with no progress to show for it. They need to see their sacrifices matched by other key stakeholders and they need protections to make sure their sacrifices are not made in vain again due to mismanagement. While we remain committed to finding a solution to save the company, it won’t be done solely on the backs of our members and Hostess employees.
Our retired Teamste sister, RuralRoute, gave a pretty stinging analysis of Hostess management in DailyKos a while back. Read the whole thing here.
International Vice President Ken Hall said the Teamsters would fight the company's motion to impose unfair employment terms.
The strike authorization should send a loud and clear message about our determination, and we will be equally determined in defending our case before the court.
The court will hear arguments on the company's motion on March 5. The bankruptcy judge will have 30 days to rule.

In the meantime, Hall had some good news. When Hostess had the effrontery to ask the court to guarantee a job for CEO Brian Driscoll, the Teamsters protested loud and long. Hostess thought better of the request, and won't ask again until mid-March. Said Hall,
The delay shows that our voices were heard, and, while the contract remains an open issue, we will continue to press the principle of equal sacrifice for all stakeholders, including the CEO.