At the urging of a federal bankruptcy judge, Hostess Brands and its striking workers agreed Monday to enter private mediation in a last-ditch effort to prevent the company’s liquidation and save thousands of jobs, including about 300 at the company’s Northeast Philadelphia plant.
The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union represents about 5,600 of Hostess’ 18,500 workers nationally and declared a strike on Nov. 9 in response to failed contract talks.
The Irving, Texas-based company has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings since January, its second bankruptcy filing in the last decade, and has sought to reduce its labor costs as part of a reorganization plan.
On Tuesday, Hostess executives and company investors were to meet with the bakery union officials, as well as Teamsters union representatives. The Teamsters is Hostess’ largest labor union and has agreed to new contract terms with the company.
Late last week, about 25 union members were picketing the Hostess facility at Grant Avenue and Blue Grass Road.
The 82-year-old company is known for manufacturing Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, along with Wonder Bread, Drakes and Dolly Madison brand products.