Northwood Hostess factory workers continue strike

Northwood Hostess factory workers continue strike

NORTHWOOD, OH (Toledo News Now) – Employees at the Hostess production facility on Wales Road in Northwood continue their three-day strike Monday. Production is at a standstill at the bakery, and no new deal is in sight.

The strike began Friday after months of conflict between the company and its union workers. Production has completely stopped at the Northwood plant and about two dozen other Hostess plants.

The future of the company as a whole is in jeopardy, according to a company spokesperson. He says workers need to get back to work soon or the plant could close.

"Just seems like they just want to keep taking and taking," said Terry Urban, a union member.

Urban and members of Baker's Union Local 19 have been braving the cold weather protesting their contract with Hostess brands. Urban says she is fed up with the way union members are being treated.

"They were taking an 8 percent cut in pay, in our wages, plus we're paying more for insurance and they're putting less into the pension," explained Urban.

A total of 92 percent of union members rejected what they call "a horrendous contract."

"You gotta realize, none of us make a big wage here and we need every dime that we can to feed our families," said Urban.
Urban says she has lost about $130 per paycheck.

Union members say there is a simple solution to this problem.

"All we asked for is for them to not impose this contract, come back to the bargaining table and sit and bargain with us, something they refuse to do," said Mike Kado, a union member.
Hostess brand officials say there will be no more negotiations because they have done that for more than a year.

Still, union members think there is some wiggle room.

"As long as it takes, we'll be out here in the rain, in the snow, the sleet," said Urban.

That worries the Hostess brand. Officials say if workers do not get back to work they could be forced to liquidate plants throughout the company.

That does not sit well with Ahmad Saleh. He owns Moody's Coney Island and depends on Hostess workers for business.

"It's not going to put us out of business, but it's definitely something it's gonna take a chunk away," said Saleh.

For now, Urban is just trying to keep warm as she prepares for day four.

"We give everything to this company. We sacrifice time with our families, and they're just not giving us anything in return," said Urban.

Officials say the plant is using supervisors to operate the Wonder Bread line.

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