Bankruptcy Judge Orders Hostess And Union To Mediation

The future of Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s and other Hostess products is not fully written yet. The judge in Hostess’s bankruptcy case has directed the company and its second largest union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, to private mediation. The company announced last week that it was shutting down due to a crippling strike.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Twinkies will live to see another day.

Hostess Brands Inc. and its second largest union agreed on Monday to try to resolve their differences after a bankruptcy court judge noted that the parties hadn’t gone through the critical step of private mediation. That means the maker of the spongy cake with the mysterious cream filling won’t go out of business yet.

The news comes after the maker of Ho Ho’s, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread last week moved to liquidate and sell off its assets in bankruptcy court. Hostess cited a crippling strike started on Nov. 9 by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, which represents about 30 percent of Hostess workers.

‘‘Many people, myself included, have serious questions as to the logic behind this strike,’’ said Judge Robert Drain, who heard the case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York in White Plains, N.Y. ‘‘Not to have gone through that step leaves a huge question mark in this case.’’

The mediation talks are set to take place Tuesday, with the liquidation hearing set to resume on Wednesday if an agreement isn’t reached. Jeff Freund, an attorney for the bakers union, said any guess as to how the talks will go would be “purely speculative.”

Even if Hostess shuts down the iconic Hostess brands will survive in some form. Other bakery companies are lining up to purchase the brands…

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