Teamsters end Twinkies strike : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Friday March 24, 12:27 pm Eastern Time

Teamsters end Twinkies strike

BIDDEFORD, Maine, March 24 (Reuters) - The Great Twinkies Squeeze of 2000 is coming to an end.

Striking Teamsters drivers who had shut down production at several plants owned by Interstate Bakeries Corp. (NYSE:IBC - news), which makes the popular packaged cakes, have dropped their pickets and agreed to return to work, Interstate and union officials said on Friday.

The company, which makes breads under the Wonder and Home Pride labels, as well as Hostess, Drake's and Dolly Madison brand snack cakes, hopes to resume shipments in the northeastern United States, beginning on Saturday, said Mark Dirkes, Interstate Bakeries' senior vice president.

The strike created a scarcity of Twinkies, the sugary, cream-filled sponge cake, and other baked goods throughout the Northeast.

Based in Kansas City, Mo., Interstate is the largest U.S. baker and distributor of breads.

Last week, 1,400 members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters serving Interstate plants in Biddeford, Maine, and Wayne, N.J., walked off the job, triggering sympathy boycotts at IBC bakeries in New York, Philadelphia and Buffalo, N.Y.

The drivers struck in a dispute over carrying different brands -- for which they are paid differently -- in the same loads. They also wanted a fired colleague reinstated. Union contracts covering those employees expire in April.

``The union has made the decision to withdraw the picket in good faith,'' Dirkes said. ``We have a contract to negotiate.''

Bill Turkewitz, business agent for Teamsters Local 340, said, ``The picket is over. It's all cleaned up. We're just waiting for a call back to work, which will probably be in a day or so.''

Separately, 140 IBC drivers in Pittsburgh who had walked off the job last week ended their strike late on Thursday, when a settlement was reached on a new contract. The previous pact had expired, Dirkes said.

In total, about 5,000 people had been out of work due to the work stoppages, including employees who stopped baking products because they could not be delivered.

-- - (, March 24, 2000


I ate some Twinkies last year. I didn't believe they would suffice as Y2K preps. They were soggy and smelled and tasted weird. If Twinkies disappeared from the surface of planet Earth, I wouldn't care. However, Hostess Fruit Pies are far superior: a tangy fruit filling with a glazed pie crust. Yum, yum...

-- dinosaur (, March 24, 2000.

Thank the Lord! With a big supply of happy Teamsters and Twinkies the world is once again a happy place :^)

-- Jim Cooke (, March 26, 2000.

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