Hostess Brands Inc. can breathe a little easier now. The Twinkie maker got a little help from a judge yesterday when it was given the green light to reject certain union contracts and modify some retiree benefits as it attempts to extract itself from the vat of Fruit Pie filling that is the privately held company’s second bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain said Hostess will be allowed to reject agreements with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). Judge Drain also noted, however, that Hostess cannot modify or reject contracts that had expired prior to the start of the hearing, under which the union is still operating. Because of this, certain employees or pensioners can retain some benefits included in their expired contracts.