‘I Think We’re Very Happy to Have the Jobs Back; 300 Jobs Is Better Than Zero Jobs’

It seems that, even in the America of 2013, a country in which consumers are substantially more apt to be health conscious, culinarily “sophisticated,” or both, than they were four or five decades ago, workers can still be profitably employed making Twinkies — as long as they aren’t encumbered by a monopolistic union.

As CNN (see the link below) reports, Hostess, after being involved last year in a “crippling labor dispute” that ultimately caused the company to shut down and sell its assets, is now back in business under new ownership.

But at this time it appears Hostess production jobs will no longer be under the control of the officers of two unions, as they were until last year’s liquidation:

A joint venture of private equity firms Apollo Global Management (APO) and Metropoulos & Co. bought five bakeries and the majority of Hostess-brand snacks for $410 million. The reformulated Hostess Brands LLC, has said it expected the products to be back on shelves this summer.

A Dolly Madison plant in Columbus, Ga., will be the first to reopen. It’s been a community staple since 1971 and employed about 400 people, according to Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. All the employees lost their jobs when Hostess was liquidated.

Columbus city officials actively courted the company’s new owners in an attempt to bring them back, said Tomlinson.

In its new iteration, the company will hire 200 workers for jobs starting this summer. Another 100 jobs will follow. Tomlinson said her town is better off with the opportunities — whether they’re union or not.

“I think we’re very happy to have the jobs back; 300 jobs is better than zero jobs,” she said.

But former plant employees will have to reapply for the jobs they once held.

The private equity firms did not return calls for comment. Neither did the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union, one of two unions involved in last year’s talks. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters declined comment.

Twinkies’ future could be union-free