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Hostess begins hiring at Georgia bakery

April 27, 2013 at 10:44 AM   |   Comments

COLUMBUS, Ga., April 27 (UPI) -- The new owners of Hostess said they were beginning the hiring process at one of their remodeled plants in Georgia without an open-door policy toward a union.

The Dolly Madison Bakery in Columbus, Ga., was one of five Hostess plants shut down amid a company-wide strike the previous owners blamed for plunging them into bankruptcy and eliminating 18,000 jobs.

Executives for the new ownership said this week while their new workers were legally allowed to unionize, they would have to start organizing from scratch.

"We are not going to invite the unions in. We don't have to," Executive Vice President Michael Cramer told CNBC.

Labor lawyers told CNBC management would have to be circumspect about asking applicants about their sentiments toward unions, which could put them on the wrong side of federal laws.

Economists said Hostess could use the example of what happened when the previous bakers union members went on strike as a means of discouraging the new workers from organizing; however, others said there was increasing pro-union sentiment among workers in the low-paying retail and fast-food sectors.

"I think any management team will hold up a photo to its workers of Hostess strikers and say, 'What is a union going to do for you?'" said Cleveland labor lawyer Marc Bloch. "The case can be made that they did nothing."

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