Early afternoon on the day that Hostess Brands announced it was liquidating the business, about a dozen employees gathered outside the Hostess plant at 400 Monroe. A few BCTGM (Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers) union members were carrying signs that read, "On Strike Against Hostess Brands."
Some of the workers (the plant employed about 250 workers, according to the Memphis Business Journal) were taking images of a letter signed by the CEO which was taped to the door of the plant.
One union member, who asked that his name not be used, said that he had worked for the plant for 11 years. He said that production at the plant ended at 10 a.m. He wasn't sure what would be the union's next move.
"We just have to wait because this is not official," he said. "We're seeing what their [Hostess'] situation is."
A transcript of the letter, dated November 16th, is below.
To All Hostess Brands Employees:
I have very disappointing news. Hostess Brands must immediately begin to wind down all operations and conduct an orderly sale of all company assets. Many people have worked incredibly long and hard to keep this from happening, but now Hostess Brands has no other alternative than to begin the process of winding down and preparing for the sale of our iconic brands.
As you know, for many months the Company has been working with our unions, lenders, and other stakeholders to reach a consensual resolution to legacy costs and labor contracts. Despite everyone's considerable efforts to move Hostess out of its restructuring, when we began implementing the Company's last, best and final offer, the Bakers Union chose to stage a crippling strike. This affected Hostess' ability to continue to make products and service its customers' needs and pushed Hostess into a Wind Down scenario. As a result, we are forced to proceed with an orderly wind down and sale of our operations and assets. We deeply regret taking this action. But we simply cannot continue to operate without the ability to produce or deliver our products.
There's no way to soften the fact that this will hurt every Hostess Brands employee. All Hostess Brands employees will eventually lose their jobs — some sooner than others. Unfortunately, because we are in bankruptcy, there are severe limits on the assistance the Company can offer you at this time. We have attached a Question and Answer document and certain contact information related to employee issues, which provide all the information that we currently have available to help guide you through this difficult time. It includes information on how to contact state unemployment agencies and contact information for other resources. You can also find all available information on the Internet at www.hostessbrands.info.
I wish each of you the best.
Gregory F. Rayburn
Hostess Brands Inc.