Hundreds of Memphians Face Losing Their Jobs

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(Memphis) Hundreds of workers in Memphis found out in the past week that they might be losing their jobs.

Pinnacle Airlines Corp announced they would be restructuring PinnPro, a division that manages ground operations. The cuts affect 16 airlines at 11 airports, with the strongest effect in Memphis.

At Memphis International Airport, 68 full-time and 330 part-time employees will be out of a job in September. Pinnacle Airlines Corp said they will work with Delta to have a new company come in. They hope the new company will consider many of the workers currently with PinnPro.

Pinnacle Airlines Corp said in a statement, “We said when we started the restructuring process that we would have to make tough decisions for our business to emerge from Chapter 11 stronger and profitable. We are discontinuing unprofitable units as part of the reorganization plan and refocusing on our core business of flying.”

On Friday, Hostess Brands Inc. notified 18,500 employees across the country that they might lose their jobs.

A couple hundred people work at the Hostess bakery in Memphis at 400 Monroe Avenue.

The notice was issued by the company in accordance with the WARN act, giving employees a 60-day notification of a possible sale or wind down of Hostess.

“With unemployment still alarmingly high, you hate to hear any more people losing their jobs. I think the good news in Memphis is, we’ve been adding jobs over the last few years even with a down economy,” said Kevin Kane, President and CEO of the Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Kane cited new jobs brought into the area, like the Great American Steamboat Company that hired several hundred Memphians.

He said that the news from Pinnacle Airlines Corp is not entirely unexpected. “The airline industry is hurting all the way across the board, and you know, they have to do whatever they have to do to make themselves profitable so they can survive.”

But the news from the household brand name of Hostess did surprise others.

“You just wouldn’t think of the bakery as going out of business,” said Ella Lewis.

She and passers-by noted their memories of walking by the bakery on Monroe for as long as they could remember, smelling the scent of fresh bread in the air.

Tommy Driver said he felt for the people unsure of their futures. “Especially for people losing jobs, and then they don’t have any skills for anything else, it’s hard for them to find jobs.”

Both Pinnacle Airlines Corp and Hostess Brands Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year. They are also each negotiating labor contracts.

In a January statement issued at the filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Hostess Brands Inc. assured customers their company did not anticipate disruptions in the manufacturing and distribution of their products.