The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, one of the largest labour unions in the US, representing 1.4 million people, has announced a plan with Yucaipa Companies and Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) to purchase Interstate Bakeries, helping to save more than 9,500 jobs at the bankrupt firm.
In a statement, the Union announced that the partnership brought together the financing of Yucaipa and its expertise in working with unionised companies, the baking experience of Bimbo Bakeries, and the Teamsters Union as the key component of the distribution system.
"A key ingredient of our plan will be a commitment from Yucaipa Companies, and Bimbo Bakeries to value the sacrifices of our members and position the company for long-term growth," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president.
Founded in the 1940s, Texas-based Bimbo Bakeries USA produces and distributes bread, cakes and cookies. One of the largest bakery companies in the world, it also said last week it was considering raising bread prices in the last quarter of the year to offset the soaring cost of wheat. It already raised prices by about 3% in August but said its cost of production was rising as wheat prices touched record levels.
Yucaipa Companies is an investment management firm that has a reputation for growing and developing businesses, working to preserve union jobs. Earlier this year, the Teamsters endorsed a Yucaipa plan to finance another Teamster employer, Allied Holdings, a distribution and logistics service, which was also experiencing financial difficulties.