2:20 PM PST, November 19, 2012
More than 138 jobs at Hostess facilities in Atwater and Glendale remain on the chopping block, even after the company and its striking union agreed to a mediation that will forestall a planned liquidation.
A spokeswoman for Hostess on Monday said all Hostess operations, including a bakery plant in Atwater that employees 125 workers, remain shut down. A retail thrift storefront in Glendale remained open Monday as workers sold off the remaining inventory of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos.
At a bankruptcy court hearing Monday in New York, 82-year-old Hostess had planned to ask permission to start shutting down its business. Instead, Judge Robert Drain urged the company and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International union to consider mediation, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We are willing to explore any possibility of saving 18,500 jobs, but we can’t speculate about the chances of reaching a breakthrough with the Bakers Union,” said Hostess Brands spokeswoman Tammy Taylor.
Both sides agreed to try to work through their conflict, which would preserve more than 18,000 jobs that will otherwise disappear if the Irving, Texas-based company closes its doors.
Mediation hearings will begin in private on Tuesday.
The hearing to consider Hostess' motion to wind itself down is adjourned until Wednesday morning, according to the company. Production “remains shut down,” it said.
Hostess has 565 distribution centers around the country, as well as 33 bakeries and 570 bakery outlets.
On Friday, Hostess said it would go out of business, blaming a strike by members of the BCTGM union. Workers who walked out accused the company of slashing benefits and wages while rewarding managers with substantial pay raises.
-- Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times; with reporting from Brittany Levine, Times Community News