November 5, 2007: Our union is teaming up again with billionaire investor Ron Burkle to take over a bankrupt Teamster employer, Interstate Bakeries Corporation, the maker of Twinkies.
The IBT announced on Nov. 2 that Yucaipa, an investment firm led by Burkle, and Bimbo Bakeries are moving to take over IBC.
The current IBC management wants to cut the wages of Teamster drivers, and demanding that Teamsters pay $20 a week for healthcare. The company also wants to implement a “path to market” distribution system that could eliminate many Teamster jobs and change work rules.
Last week Yucaipa and Bimbo (a Mexico-based corporation) filed a motion in bankruptcy court to remove the current IBC management.
Teamster Bakery Director Rich Volpe has stated that Yucaipa will ask for concessions in the current Teamster contracts, but that these will smaller than what IBC is currently seeking.
Yucaipa got 17.5 percent wage cuts from Teamster carhaulers at Allied earlier this year after Burkle took over ownership of Allied, in a deal with the IBT.