Stella D'oro faults union strategy for plant closing

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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BRONX, N.Y. — Stella D’oro Co., which last month agreed to sell its brand as well as certain manufacturing equipment and inventory to Lance, Inc., on Oct. 2 issued a statement claiming it was the Bakery Workers Union Local 50’s "flawed strategy" that contributed to the shutdown of the company’s Bronx bakery. Stella D’oro and its union workers engaged in a lengthy dispute over wages before the company finally announced on July 6 that it would close the Bronx plant. Two months later, Stella D’oro found a buyer in Charlotte, N.C.-based Lance, Inc. Lance has said it will shutter the Bronx facility and move production to Ashland, Ohio. But union workers have not given up the fight, picketing Goldman Sachs (an investor in Lance, Inc.) and enlisting William Thompson, New York City controller and mayoral candidate, in an effort to stop the sale. In its Oct. 2 statement, Stella D’oro said it did all it could to keep the facility operational in the Bronx. "There are, in fact, no winners as a result of this situation," the company said. "Stella D’oro is saddened by the fact that many loyal Bronx-based employees, both union-represented and non-union represented alike, their families and the Bronx community as a whole have been adversely affected by a decision to close that was forced upon the company and its owners by a union that was unwilling to compromise during the negotiating process. People have lost their jobs and the company’s owners have lost money on their investment. The sad truth is that under the right cost structure, Stella D’oro could have remained in the Bronx and continued to provide good jobs at competitive wages."

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