Hostess Will Consider Union Workers For New Indiana Bakery

Hostess Brands announced this week it plans to open a bakery in Indianapolis and union workers hope that means they will get their jobs back.

hostess

Photo: hermitsmoores (flickr)

A Hostess truck sits in a loading dock.

Hostess Brands announced this week it will soon hire workers for a bakery it is opening in Indianapolis and emphasized it would not discriminate against former Hostess union workers.

The announcement comes five months after the Hostess filed for bankruptcy after failing to come to an agreement with union workers. Its brands were then sold to investors, who have revived the company and are working to restart production.

Hostess has already begun accepting applications for workers in Georgia and Kansas. It said Monday it would soon do the same for a bakery in Indianapolis.

But soon after the company announced its plans to hire, statements that appeared in several reports last week indicated company officials would be opposed to hiring union workers. A statement the company released Monday indicates that is not true.

“Hostess respects union rights and will not discriminate against job applicants on the basis of union membership or union activities. Hostess intends to hire the most qualified applicants, regardless of their age, race, gender, or prior or current union affiliation,” Hostess says. “If a majority of the individuals hired at a Hostess facility are from the former company’s unionized workforce, the Company will comply with any legal obligations it may have concerning bargaining with any union.”

Wedrick Hollingsworth, the business agent for the Indianapolis branch of The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, says the best job applicants will be union members.

“If this company wants to get restarted by June, I’m assuming that the most qualified people will be the people that came out of the facility,” he says.

Hollingsworth says there is a safety net for the employees if they are discriminated against, but he is not at liberty to discuss the provision further.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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