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Local Hostess Jobs In Danger

By Galen Moore, Boston Business Journal
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BOSTON (CBS) –  About 300 Massachusetts jobs hang in the balance as Hostess Brands Inc. negotiates its way out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to documents filed by the company with state labor officials.

A letter to Massachusetts officials and the mayors of nine Bay State towns warns of the possibility that as many as 13 Hostess facilities – such as bakeries, distribution centers and outlet stores – may close if the company can’t make a smooth transition out of Chapter 11.

Four of the facilities are located in Worcester.

According to a spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the total jobs at stake could number about 300.

A Hostess spokesman said the total number of state employees is 294.

In accordance with U.S. Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification law (the WARN act), Hostess Brands has notified all 18,500 of its U.S. workers that their jobs could be at risk in the event of:

  • a liquidation
  • a cessation of bankruptcy restructuring
  • layoffs of more than 20 percent of the company’s workforce
  • a strike, walkout, lockout or slowdown
  • denial of a bankruptcy court motion to modify its collective bargaining agreements with bakers and teamsters unions

A spokesman for Irving, Texas-based Hostess issued the following statement:

“Last Friday, we mailed conditional WARN notices to all 18,500 Hostess Brands employees around the country. The notices were sent to alert employees that a sale or wind down of the company is possible in the future. However, our goal is still to emerge from bankruptcy as a growing company and there are no immediate actions being taken to sell or wind down the company. We are simply fulfilling our requirements by sending these notices.”

The following Massachusetts facilities are named in the Hostess Brands letter to the state:

  1. 91 Foster St., Brockton
  2. 601 Pond St., Braintree
  3. 189 Crawford St., Fitchburg
  4. 647 Andover St., Lawrence
  5. 420 Eastern Ave., Malden
  6. 323 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield
  7. 1566 State St., Springfield
  8. 2406 Cranberry Highway, Wareham
  9. 215 West Boylston St., West Boylston
  10. 75 Quinsigamond Ave., Worcester
  11. 39 SouthWest Cutoff, Worcester
  12. 205 Chandler St., Worcester
  13. 983 Milbury St., Worcester

Lisa van der Pool of the Boston Business Journal can be seen weekdays at 6 a.m. on WBZ-TV.

You can follow Lisa on Twitter at @lvanderpool.

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