Things have been a little tense on the picket line at the Merita Bakery plant. Complaints were lodged that the Knox County Sheriff’s Department has been under contract with the bakery to harass the union. The Sheriff’s department says the company has been hiring off-duty deputies to provide security and keep order, but there is no agreement with the Sheriff’s department.
There was also a dispute over where the picket line would be placed; the company made them move it from private property to the street.
Hostess Brands, the parent company and maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs, is in bankruptcy and two theories have emerged: The company will be bought out by someone who does not recognize the baker’s union and make it a non-union shop, or that a company has an agreement with the union to buy the company out of bankruptcy and agree to honor the union contract. It depends on who you talk with. In the meantime the two sides are trying mediation.
The Knoxville plant does bread, not Twinkies.