NORTH ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Hostess has closed three bakeries, including one in St. Louis, because of a worker’s strike but St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says he’s known for months it would close.

Workers walked out yesterday morning and began picketing. An announcement that the plant would be closed came by late afternoon.

Slay says he knew the plant would close long before word of a strike circulated Monday morning.

“I was told months ago they were planning on closing the site in St. Louis,” Slay said. “And there was no indication at that time that it had anything to do with the strike the workers were waging.”

365 people who work at the bakery in North St. Louis are losing their jobs. Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn said the entire company would be closed if widespread strikes cripple the business.

“We did receive the WARN Act notices about the number of employees they intended to get rid of because they were going to close the plant here but there was no indication given back then that it had anything to do with the workers striking,” Slay reiterated.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) requires companies to notify employees of plant closures and other widespread layoffs at least 60 days in advance.

A call to the Baker’s Union Local 4 in St. Louis was not returned.

“I’ve been there several times, touring the place, talking to the employees,” Slay said. “That’s something, of course, we really hate to see happen. That’s a good organization.”

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