Hostess CEO says layoffs will follow a strike - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hostess CEO says layoffs will follow a strike

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn says all hostess plants, depots, and retail stores will be closed almost immediately if there is a strike.

Earlier this month, workers at hostess rejected the last contract that was offered.

Then Wednesday a bankruptcy court approved hostess's request to impose concessions on the baker's union.

"The judge ruled in our favor, that we could impose those terms and the wage concessions are frankly, not just union, they are management and across the board, every employee," Rayburn said. "So our concern at this point is that once we get to the point of making those changes, if the bakers strike, then that puts the company at risk."

Union workers may strike in the upcoming days, but if they do, company officials say the 72-year-old company may be forced to sell its assets and lay off more than 18,000 employees.

"I think that any sort of material work stoppage at this point will lead us to a liquidation of that business," Rayburn said.  "The alternative is we make these changes that are difficult, and granted they're difficult, but we make them, and I think can survive another 70 years."

In a letter addressed to union members, workers were warned that if there is a strike, almost all employees will be terminated. The exception will be for a small team that would prepare the facilities for sale.

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