IRVING, TX -- Hostess Brands said it has suspended production at all of its plants and is seeking permission from a federal bankruptcy court to permanently close its operations. It's blaming a weeklong strike by its bakers who are protesting a new contract imposed by the bankruptcy court.
The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder bread said it will lay off 18,500 workers at its 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide and move to sell its iconic snack cake and bread brands. The company said it would continue to deliver products, and its stores would remain open for several days to sell already-baked products
"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," said chief executive Gregory Rayburn.
The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, which represents 80,000 workers, began its walkout on Nov. 9 when Hostess imposed a contract, which the union rejected in September. The contract sought to cut wages by 8%, suspend pension payments and reduce healthcare benefits.
On Nov. 12, Hostess permanently closed three plants because of the strike. Two days later, the company announced that it would be forced to liquidate if enough workers did not return to restore normal operations by 5 p.m. ET Thursday. | SEE STORY
The bakers' union said Hostess workers and the union "have absolutely no responsibility for the failure of this company. That responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the company's decision-makers."