In wake of union strike, Hostess to close

Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s are no more.

Hostess Brands today said it is planning to cease operations. The company asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court for permission sell its assets, brands and facilities in the wake of an employee strike Hostess says has destroyed its ability to do business.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” Gregory F. Rayburn, chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

In a release, the company said on Nov. 12 it “permanently closed three plants as a result of the work stoppage.” Two days later, the company said it “would be forced to liquidate if sufficient employees” — members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) — “did not return to work to restore normal operations by 5 p.m. … (on) Nov. 15,” according to the release.

On Thursday, the company “determined on the night of Nov. 15 that an insufficient number of employees had returned to work to enable the restoration of normal operations.”

Hostess also said it is “unprofitable under its current cost structure, much of which is determined by union wages and pension costs.” The company will continue to operate for a few days to deliver already baked goods, according to a release.

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