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Teamsters Strikers Win Their Long Battle for Justice & Unionized Bakery Workers At Hostess Go Out On Strike

Published Saturday, November 10, 2012 11:00 am
by National AFL-CIO News Now

National AFL-CIO News Now Editor’s Note: The following is a Labor News Report from Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council Assistant Mobilizer Julia Kann:

 

It took two-and-a-half years, but the Teamsters 639 strike against Daycon is finally over.

The Upper Marlboro, Maryland-based Janitorial and Maintenance Supply Company is calling the last remaining Strikers back to work after a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling earlier this week upheld National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Rulings in the Union’s favor.

“We won every ounce,” said a jubilant Local 639 Business Agent Doug Webber.

In addition to being ordered to bring all the Company’s Union-Represented Employees back to work, Daycon owes Strikers Back Pay and Benefits.  They also “must return to the table and bargain fairly” for a New Contract, Union Officials said.

Local 639 Members at Daycon struck in 2010 when Management illegally implemented their Bargaining Proposals, and although the Strikers subsequently offered to return to work, the Company refused to re-hire them and engaged in what the NLRB determined were a series of Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs).

“We’re proud of our Members, who hung in this fight for the long haul,” Teamsters Local 639 President Tommy Ratliff said, “and we couldn’t have won this battle without the support of the Metro Washington Council, the Community Services Agency, and the entire Local Labor Community, which came together to support this struggle.”

Said Metro Council President Jos Williams: “As if any more proof were needed after our wins at the Ballot Box (in the November Election that was held on Tuesday, November 6th), Local 639’s victory shows once more that solidarity, as always, works!”

 

BCTGM Members At Hostess Strike Baker

Meanwhile, Workers at Hostess Brands - who in September overwhelming rejected a Contract that Cut Wages and Benefits by as much as 32% - have initiated a Strike against the maker of Wonder Bread, Twinkies and other well-known Baked Treats.

The Strike was initiated due to Hostess imposing the terms of the Rejected Contract.

“Hostess Brands is making a mockery of the Labor Relations System that has been in place for nearly one-hundred years,” Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) President Frank Hurt said.  “Our Members are not just Striking for themselves, but for ‘all’ Unionized Workers across North America who are covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements.”

BCTGM Officials said the Company has ceased making Contractually-Obligated Payments to the Hostess Workers’ Pensions since July 2011 and has pocketed approximately $160 million - money earned by and owed to its dedicated Workforce.

Hostess Brands is in Bankruptcy for the second time in eight years.

Since its first Bankruptcy in 2004, BCTGM Members across the Country have taken dramatic Wage and Benefit Concessions and watched as 21 Hostess Plants were shut down and thousands of Jobs were lost.

At the time of the first bankruptcy, Hostess Workers were assured by Management that money saved via Concessions and Plant Closings would help make the Company stronger, more vibrant and more competitive.

Instead, according to Union Representatives, the money has gone towards Executive Bonuses and Payments to the Hedge Fund that owns Hostess Brands.

“Our members have now said ‘NO’ to Hostess and the Wall Street Investors in the only means available to them, the strike.  [We] stand in full and uncompromising support of our Striking Members,” BCTGM President Hurt said. 

National AFL-CIO News Editor’s Note: You can download a Fact Sheet on the Strike from the BCTGM.  Strike Updates will also be available at http://bctgm.org/.

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