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Hostess decision expected today


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A sign at Columbus' Hostess Brands facility in Columbus, Indiana advertises positions  Friday afternoon, November 9, 2012. (Joe Harpring | For The Republic)
A sign at Columbus' Hostess Brands facility in Columbus, Indiana advertises positions Friday afternoon, November 9, 2012. (Joe Harpring | For The Republic)

Andrew Laker | The Republic
Dolly Madison employees picket on Thursday afternoon outside the factory on U.S. 31.
Andrew Laker | The Republic Dolly Madison employees picket on Thursday afternoon outside the factory on U.S. 31.


The parent company of the Columbus Dolly Madison plant said Thursday evening a decision about the company’s survival likely would be made early today.

Hostess Brands had said Wednesday afternoon if not enough workers returned to work by 5 p.m. Thursday, the company would file paperwork with the bankruptcy court today to initiate liquidation. The closing of plants could begin as early as Tuesday, Hostess said.

“We probably won’t announce anything until (Friday) morning,” spokesman Lance Ignon said via email Thursday evening.

The company employs more than 200 at the Dolly Madison plant in Columbus on National Road just east of Central Avenue.

Members of Local 132 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union have been striking around the clock in Columbus since about 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10. Bakers union members nationwide are protesting a new contract, which includes an 8 percent pay cut, higher health insurance costs and reduced pensions.

The Teamsters union, which approved the contract, urged the bakeries union in a press release Thursday to conduct a secret vote to see if members want to continue striking. About 7,000 Teamsters work for Hostess. The company employs about 18,000 total.

The Teamsters said based on its financial experts, which were involved in the bankruptcy proceedings, Hostess is not merely issuing a threat but will be forced to shut down the bakeries if the strike continues.

Though the bakeries union strike puts Teamsters members in a difficult position, “Teamsters members by and large are honoring bakery worker picket lines,” the Teamsters statement said.

In Columbus, the strike was continuing Thursday evening.

Larry Duncan, business agent for Local 132, said more than 100 people had congregated at the Dolly Madison plant at the company’s 5 p.m. deadline to end the protest.

At close to 6 p.m., Duncan said he had heard no news from the company.

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