Advertise Here

Office Hours

Posts tagged: Spokane workers

Twinkie maker says unions have to shed benefits to keep company intact

So the parent company of Twinkies is warning about 250 state workers their jobs are in jeopardy unless union concessions are offered. Fourteen of those 250 work in Spokane. has a brief summary here.

Our hope here is to offer a bit more focus on what exactly the company, based in Texas, feels is needed. The company is going through Chapter 11 reorganization.

Hostess is asking a U.S. Bankruptcy judge in White Plains, New York, for permission to reject union contracts, warning that it faces liquidation if it can’t modify labor deals.

A previous AP story summarized some of the key company requests:

Hostess wants to withdraw from some multi-employer pension plans. New hires would be covered by the same 401(k)-type retirement accounts used by nonunion and management employees.

The company’s new CEO, Gregory F. Rayburn, said Hostess wants to cut annual pension contributions from $103 million to $25 million. Hostess also wants to change work rules that sometimes require two trucks instead of one, and to outsource deliveries to small stores.
Consumers increasingly have been buying other snacks, such as yogurt, and more wheat bread. White bread’s popularity has plunged — in 2000, it was eaten in 54 percent of all U.S. homes compared to 36 percent last year, according to consumer-marketing research firm NPD Group.
As part of its turnaround plan, Hostess wants to raise at least $400 million from current lenders or new investors or by selling brands. Rayburn said he has talked with a potential buyer of one of its small, regional brands.

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

Sign up for our business email newsletter
Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Office Hours.


John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

Recent work by John

Alison Boggs Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

Recent work by Alison

Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here