Hostess may close Northwood operations

NORTHWOOD, OH (Toledo News Now) – After filing for bankruptcy in January, Hostess may close its operations in Northwood.

The company headed to court to try to throw out its labor agreements, and now employees are receiving letters notifying them that they may be laid off.

Although there are no immediate actions taking place, the bankruptcy judge did rule on the bakery workers' union, also known as the BTC, that Hostess is allowed to terminate those contracts.

The BTC union is different from the Teamsters, and the trial to terminate the Teamsters' contract has already taken place as well, and a ruling is expected in the next couple of weeks.

Even though the judge did rule that the BTC contracts can be invalidated, a spokesperson from Hostess says they intend to negotiate contracts with employees, and will not terminate the contracts unless they are unable to reach a mutual agreement.

Employees of the Northwood plant received conditional notices in the mail Monday, and those letter state that though Hostess Brands is working to come out of bankruptcy, if they are not successful in doing so, they are fulfilling their legal requirements be giving employees a 60 day notice.

The letters states that Hostess may have to sell all or portions of the business or "wind down its operations and liquidate."

Hostess Brands did put out this statement:

"The conditional warn notices were sent out to alert employees that a sale or wind-down of the company is possible in the future. There are no immediate actions being taken. Our goal is to emerge from bankruptcy as a growing company with a strong future- one that continues to provide good jobs with competitive wages and benefits."

The letter does state that if Hostess is unsuccessful in working out of bankruptcy, it may begin permanently ceasing operations, and scaling down at the Northwood plant.

Toledo News Now will continue to update this developing story.

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