BCTGM members employed by Hostess Brands rejected the company’s Last/Best/Final proposal by 92 percent. Union members in every region of the country and every segment of the company’s operations overwhelmingly opposed the proposal. In many locations, the vote to reject the proposal was unanimous.
In announcing the vote results, BCTGM International President Frank Hurt stated, “Throughout this entire bankruptcy process, I have been crystal clear with Hostess management that our members will determine the outcome. On August 14, the company presented to us their Last, Best, Final and Non-negotiable offer which we sent to our local unions. The results speak for themselves.
“Contrary to CEO Rayburn’s disingenuous and erroneous public comments, our members did not reject this proposal because of ‘bad information’ from the International Union. They rejected it because it was an outrageously unfair proposal from a company that has destroyed the trust of its workers through years of mismanagement, greed and unfulfilled promises.
“For Mr. Rayburn to state otherwise is an insult to our members’ intelligence and the integrity of the BCTGM International Union. It is particularly offensive given that Mr. Rayburn (a ‘liquidation specialist’) has been with the company for less than a year while many, many of our members have given decades of dedicated service to Hostess Brands and its predecessor companies.
“Our members have seen this company squander more than $50 million that it was contractually obligated to put towards our members’ pension. They have seen the company fail to invest in product development and new plant and equipment as was promised when the company emerged from its previous bankruptcy and for which our members made significant concessions.
“Our members have seen this company attempt to give millions of dollars in unseemly and unjustified bonuses to managers and supervisors in the midst of this bankruptcy. They have seen this company go through numerous CEO’s in the last seven years with not one of them having had any significant experience in the wholesale bread and cake baking business.
“Our members reviewed the analysis of this company’s business plan provided by a highly-respected financial analyst retained by the company which showed that the plan has little or no chance of succeeding in saving the business but would provide the investors with a windfall.
“Our members know that this is a company that is controlled by Wall Street private equity and hedge fund firms, whose sole objective is to maximize their own returns, not rebuild a company for the long haul.”
Hurt concluded, “Our members made an informed decision. The BCTGM International Union respects the will of our members. We encourage Hostess Brands to pay the $50 million in pension contributions it owes our members and come to the bargaining table with a fair and reasonable proposal for its workers and a legitimate business plan that provides the foundation for a future world-class wholesale baking company and not fatter bank accounts for Wall Street investors.”