Durkee: Flowers success will depend on B.C.T.G.M.

by Josh Sosland
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KENSINGTON, MD. — In an official statement issued by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union, David B. Durkee, president of the B.C.T.G.M., said Flowers Foods, Inc. will be successful in its acquisition of most of the Hostess Brands, Inc. bread business “if the company includes highly-trained and experienced B.C.T.G.M. members in its workforce.”

Mr. Durkee’s statement followed news that Flowers bid for the majority of the bread business had prevailed.

Mr. Durkee said the successful auction creates the possibility that “iconic brands” such as Wonder, Home Pride and Merita are “firmly on the path of getting back to business” so long as the B.C.T.G.M. remains part of the business. In his statement, Mr. Durkee obliquely acknowledges that the union historically has had a modest presence in the Flowers constellation of baking plants.

“The B.C.T.G.M. is integral to Flowers’ objective to restore these brands, as our members have the experience, expertise, and capability to provide ‘turn-key’ operations going forward,” he said. “Our goal is to preserve our members’ jobs and the legacy of these timeless bread brands. We’ve worked with Flowers on occasion in the past, and would hope to continue a positive working relationship with them.

“The B.C.T.G.M. has a well-trained, sizable work force with decades of experience and irreplaceable knowledge, and our members provide Flowers the best chance of success in a seamless revival of operations. Our organization will extend all of our efforts toward the promotion and success of these brands if we are enlisted as a part of that future. The B.C.T.G.M. looks forward to an active and engaged process in this regard with Flowers Foods and other brand buyers to return these brands to shelves quickly.”
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