As of press time, IBC had reached agreements with two of its local collective bargaining units to modify and extend existing collective bargaining agreements that govern certain IBC employees through July 31, 2010. These agreements were ratified by members of Bakers Drivers Union Local 550 and Bakery Drivers and Salesmen Local 701. These local bargaining units account for about 500 employees in the New York City metropolitan area.
"Negotiations and ratification of these extensions are important steps in our restructuring efforts," Tony Alvarez, IBC's chief executive officer, said. "This is just the beginning of a very long process. With approximately 500 contracts subject to negotiation, there is significant uncertainty ahead."
IBC's first goal is to negotiate long-term extensions with the remaining IBT local bargaining units in the Northeast profit center. If these efforts prove successful, IBC said it will roll out similar concepts in all of its profit centers.
During negotiations, certain aspects of IBC's profit center consolidation strategy will "likely be deferred, both with respect to the consolidations that have been announced and those profit centers currently under review," the company said. "It is unlikely, however, that any agreements with local bargaining units will change the company's decisions with respect to previously announced bakery and production line closings." These previously announced closings include bakeries in Miami; Charlotte, N.C.; New Bedford, Mass.; and two bakeries in San Francisco.