Judge Orders Hostess To Mediate With Bakers Union

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WHITE PLAINS, NY (AP) - Hostess Brands Inc. and its second largest union will go into mediation to try and resolve their differences, meaning the Irving, Texas-based company won't go out of business just yet. The news came Monday after Hostess moved to liquidate and sell off its assets in bankruptcy court citing a crippling strike last week.

The bankruptcy judge hearing the case says that the parties haven't gone through the critical step of mediation and asked the lawyer for the bakery's union to ask his client, who wasn't present, if he would agree to participate.

The case is being heard by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York in White Plains, N.Y.

Hostess announced Friday it would liquidate the company's assets following a week-long strike by members of the Bakers and Confectioners Union. The move put 18,000 workers nationwide out of jobs, including 700 at the company's facility in Emporia.

The workers were upset that Hostess cut wages and stopped payments into their pension plans. The company said the moves were necessary to keep the company afloat.