NORTHWOOD, OH (Toledo News Now) – Northwood Hostess workers continue to strike despite the passage of a deadline given by the company.
The company told employees if they did not return to work by 5 p.m. Thursday, it will go into liquidation and completely shut down across the country.
Workers have been on strike since Friday and have camped out with bonfires and signs, chanting the slogan, "no dough no bread." According to the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, a total of 24 Hostess production facilities are on strike or honoring the strike with picket lines. Additionally, BCTGM members at one transport facility are on strike.
Workers say they do not want to see the company go bankrupt, but are upset over 8 percent pay cuts, 20 percent increased health care costs and pension plans in place. They put the blame on management saying top leaders got 300 percent pay increases, while their pay got slashed. Workers also feel the company does not guarantee them an eight-hour work day.
The workers are asking Hostess to reconsider and organize another negotiation. Hostess refuses to set up an additional negotiation after already trying to negotiate for one year.
"The crisis facing Hostess Brands is the result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement that resulted in two bankruptcies, mountains of debt, declining sales and lost market share. The Wall Street investors, who took over the company after the last bankruptcy, attempted to resolve the mess by attacking the company's most valuable asset – its workers," Frank Hurt, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, said in a statement Thursday.
If Hostess does shut down, about 18,000 people across the U.S. will be out of work. Union representatives are not worried, however, and are confident the workers on strike will find other jobs.
Those on strike say they will not give in.
Click here to read a statement from Hostess.
Click here to read a response from the union.