Dozens of Hostess bakery workers from Maine, outraged over pay and benefits cuts, picketed outside the Northeast Philadelphia plant Sunday.
About 30-40 members from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union walked the picket line outside the plant at 9801 Bluegrass Road. Workers are on strike - angry over a new contract that would force an 8 percent pay cut, a suspension of pension payments and a cut to health care benefits. There are 12 plants across the country on strike including Indianapolis, Orlando, Rocky Mount, NC, and Waterloo, Iowa.
Philadelphia employees are not on strike but are honoring fellow employees by not crossing the picket line. No word yet on if production at the Northeast plant will be affected.
Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Wonderbread and Sno Balls, is in bankruptcy and says they had to force workers to take pay cuts. Company officials say the strike could force the company to liquidate.
"A widespread strike will cause Hostess Brands to liquidate. If that’s the case, the company will lay off most of its 18,300-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders. We know the concessions are tough, but it would make more sense for unhappy employees to simply leave the company voluntarily than to strike”
Robert Oakley, the union's vice president, told NBC10 they will continue to strike until the company produces a reasonable contract.
"After we give concessions we go back at it again, and the company doesn't put the money back into the company. They've got CEOs that are getting increases, they're hiring consultants that are draining this company. We just want a plan," said Oakley.